Everton came from behind to beat Southampton 3-1 on the opening day of the Premier League last weekend, with Rafa Benitez enjoying a win in his first competitive match in charge of the Blues.
Richarlison, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored for the Toffees to secure the three points, having been 1-0 down to an Adam Armstrong strike at half-time.
Everton will now need to see off the challenge of Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds at Elland Road to keep up their 100% record in the league.
Will Benitez make any changes? Here is our predicted XI for the match…
We are predicting that Benitez will make two changes to his XI for this one, with Moise Kean and Tom Davies coming into the side.
Firstly, we think that Kean will come into the team for Demarai Gray. We published an article suggesting that the Italian should be unleashed at Elland Road this afternoon and we believe that Benitez will oblige. Gray had the lowest SofaScore rating out of the four attackers against Southampton, which suggests that he could be in danger of losing his place.
The ex-Leicester man struggled to have an influence on the game, with zero shots and one chance created in 83 minutes on the pitch, registering a SofaScore rating of 6.8. Kean is now back in contention according to Benitez and should make his first appearance of the campaign.
In 22 Ligue 1 starts for PSG last term, the youngster scored 13 goals and showed that he has the quality to be a regular goalscorer at the top level. This, along with Gray’s performance against the Saints, is why we are predicting him to be named in the starting XI.
The other change we are predicting is Davies coming in for Allan. Leeds are renowned for their intense pressing style of play and the Toffees cannot afford to have anyone who is not at 100%, which could lead to the Brazilian losing his spot in the team.
Against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, the £120k-per-week ace – signed from Napoli last year – earned a SofaScore rating of 6.3 (lowest on the team) and lost a whopping nine of his 13 duels. As per SofaScore, he was also dribbled past four times and misplaced eight passes, which suggests that he was off the pace.
Benitez cannot afford for one of his players to put in a similar performance against Leeds with Bielsa’s midfielders pressing high up the pitch and not giving up for the entire 90 minutes. This is why Everton could benefit from giving Allan a rest and playing Davies in his place to add some fresh legs into the mix to combat the likes of Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich.
Last season, Davies averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.75 in the Premier League and was dribbled past 0.9 times per game. He also won 52% of his duels, suggesting that he has the ability to put in a better performance than Allan did against the Saints, even if he only comes in for this game due to Leeds’ style of play.
With no other players returning from isolation, we are predicting the rest of the team to remain the same from last week.