Everton host Leeds United on Saturday aiming to keep themselves in touch with the leading teams in the Premier League.
The Toffees bounced back to form at Fulham last weekend following a sticky spell, and they will be eager to continue in the same vein against Leeds.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team can be backed at Evens with the bookmakers listed at Betcompare to win the game and those odds are a fair reflection of their chances. Read on as we preview the game.
Tactical Switch Pays Dividends
Ancelotti switched to a 3-4-3 formation at Craven Cottage and the move paid off in style as Everton ran out 3-2 winners.
Employing Lucas Digne and Alex Iwobi as attacking wing-backs allowed the Toffees to create plenty of chances for their front players.
Richarlison and James Rodriguez flourished with extra freedom afforded to them, and they could enjoy similar joy this weekend.
Everton have averaged over two goals per game this season, and it would be no surprise to see them at least maintain that record against Leeds.
Phillips Return Boosts Leeds
Leeds made a solid start to the new campaign, before successive 4-1 defeats against Leicester City and Crystal Palace took the wind out of their sails.
Midfielder Kalvin Phillips returned to the starting line-up against the Gunners, and his presence in the team gave Leeds a more solid look.
Wasteful finishing cost them the chance of victory, although picking up a point in a goalless draw helped to steady the ship.
Rodrigo was unfortunate not to break the deadlock, hitting the woodwork twice after coming on as a substitute with 20 minutes to play.
Recent History Against Leeds
The Whites are winless in their last 13 top-flight trips to Everton since 1990 and have failed to score in eight of the previous ten meetings at Goodison Park.
Everton have scored 12 goals in their four league games at home this term and will fancy their chances of adding to their tally on Saturday.
Only West Bromwich Albion and Fulham have conceded more goals than Leeds in the Premier League this season, and it could be a tough afternoon for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Leeds have collected just five points from the last 18 on offer, and it is difficult to believe that they will improve their record this weekend.
Victory Imperative Ahead of Tough Month
Three points against Leeds at Goodison would set Everton up nicely for a tough-looking run of games during December.
The trip to Burnley on December 5 should hold no fears, but subsequent games against Chelsea (H), Leicester City (A) and Arsenal (H) all look difficult.
Everton should win at Sheffield United on Boxing Day, and they will be eager to follow up at home to under-performing Manchester City two days later.
The Toffees are capable of ending the year in the top six, and their hopes of achieving that feat would be enhanced if they defeat Leeds.
Prediction: Everton 3-1 Leeds.
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