Everton v Leeds United - key battle for Stuart Dallas, James Rodriguez the dangerman and Graham Smyth's Prediction

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Tonight Leeds United return to Goodison Park for the first time since a 4-0 2003 beating, hoping to nullify some dangerous attackers.

Here is the YEP verdict on the key battle to look out for, the man Leeds will need to stop and today's score prediction.


James Rodriguez v Stuart Dallas

Everton's James Rodriguez in action. (Getty)Everton's James Rodriguez in action. (Getty)
Everton's James Rodriguez in action. (Getty)

Gjanni Alioski's performance against Arsenal was enough to see him retain his place so we could see Dallas in midfield again and with Leeds needing to stick to Rodriguez like glue, who better to do that job? Dallas has, in the past, kept highly skilled attackers quiet and knows the man-to-man marking system like the back of his hand.


James Rodriguez

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin's emergence as a potent goal threat and well-rounded centre-forward make him an obvious candidate for Everton's 'one to watch' but Liam Cooper and Robin Koch are both capable of matching a centre-forward's aerial threat. Against Arsenal Cooper's physicality was excellent.

Rodriguez is the one who, even if Leeds' man marking system gets a player close to him, has the ability to play out of pressure and find passes that can hurt the Whites. Everton have a number of threats, however, and Leeds will have to deal with them all.


Every game brings its own challenges and while Everton are a side with real cause for optimism this season, they don't fit the mould of the teams that cause Leeds the biggest problems.

The Toffees are unlikely to sit deep and allow Leeds to dictate possession, so there will be counter attacking opportunities and the game is likely to be more open than the Leicester and Palace fixtures.

In a game that is in any way open or end to end, Leeds are dangerous. A score draw feels very possible, so I'll go 2-2 with Mateusz Klich on the scoresheet.

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