Leeds United to host Everton in glamour Elland Road friendly

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LEEDS UNITED will host Roberto Martinez’s Everton in a glamour Elland Road friendly on Saturday, August 1 - kick-off 3pm.

The fixture against the Blues will provide the marquee home game in United’s pre-season programme, with the Merseysiders having last visited Elland Road back in September 2012.

That proved a memorable occasion for Leeds, who shocked the Premier League outfit in a 2-1 League Cup upset.

A rare goal from Aidan White put United in front on four minutes with Rudy Austin adding a fine second on seventy minutes in what was a rousing display from the hosts.

Sylvain Distin pulled one back for the visitors in the final ten minutes, but Leeds held out.

Elland Road has been a far from happy hunting ground for Everton over the years with their last league visit being back in April 2004.

James Milner rescued a point for relegation-threatened United with an equaliser five minutes after the break with Wayne Rooney having given the visitors the lead 13 minutes in.

A late goal from Rooney in the fixture in West Yorkshire in November 2002 earned a landmark 1-0 win for the Merseysiders at Elland Road - their first in the league at Leeds in over half a century since September 1951.

Likely to be in Everton’s ranks will be England midfield starlet Ross Barkley, who spent a brief loan spell at Elland Road during the latter stages of Neil Warnock’s reign at Leeds in 2012-13.

Barkley made just four appearances and returned to Merseyside in February 2013 after being used sparingly by Warnock.

Barkley headed to Leeds in January 2013 on the proviso from Everton that he would be given a run of regular games.

But after starting just three games, he headed back to Goodison.

Warnock, speaking at the time about the future England international, said: “I spoke to David (Moyes - former Everton manager) and Ross but I can’t guarantee playing him – and I did say I would do that when I took him.

“It’s only fair to them that he gets first-team football.

“You’ve got to be straightforward with each other and I couldn’t guarantee him that.

The friendly fixture could also see former United academy player Luke Garbutt involved - although he is set to be loaned out by Everton next term.

The Harrogate-born player, who moved to Goodison Park from Leeds in 2009 with Everton paying our a sizeable six-figure compensation fee, is set for a dramatic U-turn and is to sign a new deal with the Blues.

Garbutt, 22, who is currently on England U21 business at the European Championships in the Czech Republic, is close to finalising a new five-year-deal with Everton after lengthy negotiations with the club.

Garbutt will be sent on loan to another Premier League outfit next season before returning to Goodison for the 2016-17 campaign where he will challenge Leighton Baines for the left-back slot.

Bournemouth are the current favourites to take the full-back but an agreement is yet to be sorted.

Former Whites winger Aaron Lennon spent the second half of last season on loan at Everton after switching from Tottenham, but it remains to be seen if he will complete a permanent move to the north-west.

Notable players to have played for both Leeds and Everton include Bobby Collins, Ian Snodin, Jermaine Beckford, Nigel Martyn, Olivier Dacourt, Duncan McKenzie, Lennon and Nick Barmby.

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