Leeds United vs Everton
What a difference a week makes!
This time seven days ago Leeds United were without a win in 2021 and had not even scored a goal.
Fast forward a few days and fans (and players) of the Yorkshire club are much happier following back-to-back away Premier League triumphs.
The first, at struggling Newcastle, was partly greeted with relief.
The second, an emphatic showing at high-flying Leicester City, saw Marcelo Bielsa mastermind a victory which moved them into the relative comfort of mid-table.
Now Everton come to town looking to avenge an earlier season defeat and make sure they do not become victims again to the home side’s ever-increasing Premier League highlights reel.
Despite a surprise reverse at home to Newcastle on Saturday, Carlo Ancelotti’s men have collected 17 points from a possible 27 since the loss to Leeds and, while they are six points behind the top four, the Toffees do have two games in hand.
Of their regular starters, they will be again without Allan and Fabian Delph (both nearing fitness) but, after a spell out with injury, James Rodriguez is easing back into action and could well be their dangerman alongside Dominic Calvert-Lewin – clearly one of the league’s most improved players under Ancelotti’s tutelage and someone whose tally of 11 league goals is only two short of what he produced in the whole of last season.
Ancelotti may mix things up a bit following the weekend defeat with Andre Gomes, Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey all options to return to the starting line-up.
Certainly, a trip to Elland Road will be no cause for concern for a side which is unbeaten in its last five away league matches, with four wins during that period and nine goals.
As for the home side, the hero in the win at Leicester was undoubtedly Patrick Bamford. He sustained a dead leg in that game but is expected to be fit and available.
In-form winger Raphinha is doubtful with a knock, as is club-record signing Rodrigo, so Helder Costa and Mateusz Klich may be handed starts.
Injured duo, defenders Diego Llorente and Robin Koch, will definitely play no part.
Whoever does play a part, I expect this to be a tight affair with no shortage of goalmouth action. With Ancelotti and Bielsa on opposing sides, that probably goes without saying!
I was quite surprised when I read that Leeds held the upper hand in meetings between these two clubs, the first of which was back in 1924.
Since then, the Yorkshire club have triumphed on 52 occasions, including their most recent meeting – a 1-0 success at Goodison Park in late November.
Everton, who have won 33 of their clashes, with another 32 matches ending level.
Their last meeting in the top flight was in April 2004. A 1-1 draw at Elland Road, a match in which two young guns by the names of Wayne Rooney and James Milner scored the goals. Leeds were relegated a few weeks later.
Earlier that season, the Toffees had handed out a 4-0 tonking, courtesy of a Steve Watson hat-trick and a Duncan Ferguson goal.
Everton last won at Leeds in November 2002 when a certain Rooney netted the only goal, five minutes after coming on as a substitute.
The last time Leeds completed a league double over Everton was in 1990 when then newly-promoted side won 3-2 at Goodison Park before winning the return match 2-0.
|Leeds United vs Everton||Total Goals 2-3 @ 2.05|
|February 4, 03:30 (GMT+8)|
Much to my surprise, the SBOTOP Premier League betting odds make Leeds slight favourites for this one.
The hosts are available to back 1X2 @ 2.40 and Asian Handicap -0.50, also @ 2.40.
Everton can be tipped 1X2 @ 2.89 and with Asian Handicap odds 0.00 @ 2.13.
Another 1-0 Leeds success will payout @ 10.00 with the correct score bet, while a re-run of their last top flight meeting at Elland Road – Correct Score 1-1 – is on offer @ 6.40.
For that matter, the 1X2 draw @ 3.25 has a distinct appeal.
Goals are expected in this encounter, but how many you ask.
Well Total Goals 2-3 @ 2.05, Total Goals 4-6 @ 2.85 and Over 3.00 goals @ 2.07.
If you go for no goals – I don’t know if Bielsa teams can do goalless draws – then you will earn a payday of @ 15.00.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.