A Game of Goals: Everton v Leeds

Ancelotti and Bielsa

Onside View’s resident football tipster, James Robinson, sets his sights on Saturday late kick-off between free-scoring Everton and an excitingly unpredictable Leeds United. This has all the hallmarks of a PL classic.

It’s been 17 years since Leeds United last played at Goodison Park. They lost 4-0, conceding an unlikely hat-trick scored by copperknob defender Steve Watson. Leeds haven’t won a domestic home league game against The Toffees since 1990. This would have been an emotional return to those days of yore, were it not for a very modern pandemic. 

Ancelotti has rightfully highlighted Everton’s poor defensive displays this season. The Italian-born manager has struggled to get the Toffee’s defence playing with the same kind of organisation and discipline synonymous with his native land.

So, it must irk him to see that his side have conceded 9 goals in 4 home PL games (2.2 avg). Leeds on the other hand have scored 8 in 4 away (2.0 avg). It seems set for a back and forth thriller. These games don’t usually end in a draw, so backing Both Score No Draw @13/10 with William Hill is good value.

Desperation from Bielsa?

After a blistering start to life back in the Premier League, Leeds’ season has somewhat plateaued. Struggling to find the breakthrough against 10-man Arsenal last week saw eccentric Bielsa play some of his top players (just 24 hours later!) in an U23s game. Rodrigo, Poveda, Helder Costa, Tyler Roberts and, Pascal Struijk all got minutes. His reason: he wanted to bring their levels of match sharpness up to a more competitive standard.

Could these be the actions of a manager getting desperate? Whatever his reason, it’s a risk that may backfire. If Everton are going to win, it will be in the 2nd half when fatigue starts to kick in for some of the weary Leeds players. Backing a Double Result Draw/Everton @9/2 with Bet365 is a great outside punt. 

Seamus Coleman is the only absentee of any note for Everton. Pablo Hernandez looks set to return to the Leeds starting lineup, which will add some valuable creativity. Though this game hinges on Bamford’s fortunes in front of goal.

Will Ancelotti get the solid defensive performance he craves? Or will Bielsa’s U23 gamble pay off? I think neither will get what they want, but backing an Everton WIN on the nose @EVS with Coral is simply unmissable value.

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