Leeds United 2-2 Everton - recap: Marcelo Bielsa, Rafa Benitez, Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips post-match reaction
Leeds United host Everton in the Premier League this afternoon at Elland Road as supporters make a long-awaited return to the stands.
Marcelo Bielsa's side will be looking to put a disappointing result against Manchester United behind them last week while the Toffees defeated Southampton.
Leeds fans will finally make their comeback to the terraces in LS11 after Covid restrictions were lifted last month.
It has been 17 months since supporters watched on at full capacity and over 16 years since they took in a top flight game.
It's set to be an emotional afternoon at Elland Road for many, as the club returns to some form of normality and pays respects to those we have lost over the past year and a half.
On pitch, Bielsa's men have a job to do against Rafa Benitez' s side.
Follow every kick LIVE below:
Leeds United v Everton - LIVE BLOG
Last updated: Saturday, 21 August, 2021, 15:00
- Leeds United host Everton in the Premier League
- Fans return to Elland Road at full capacity
- Kick-off at is at 3pm
- FT - Leeds United 2-2 Everton
Early Leeds team news
The Whites are without centre-back Diego Llorente who continues to battle back to fitness after a pre-season muscle problem.
Kalvin Phillips continues to build up his fitness and is in contention to make his first start of the season.
Junior Firpo could also be handed a full debut after his substitute appearance at Old Trafford last week.
Early Everton team news
The Toffees are still without Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Ben Godfrey, Andre Gomes and James Rodriguez.
The former is self-isolating as a precaution while Kean has now completed his period away from the squad.
Rodriguez, Godfrey and Gomes, though, remain sidelined.
YEP predicted line-up
The team we’d like to see: Meslier; Ayling, Cooper, Struijk, Firpo; Phillips; Dallas, Rodrigo; Harrison, Raphinha; Bamford.
Marcelo Bielsa on Everton
“What has made him successful is he puts together a very compact team, difficult to beat and he always manages to get the maximum out of the players he manages,” said Bielsa.
“There hasn’t been big changes in regards to the players, the players are basically the same ones as last season.
“The challenges that I expect are the ones I mentioned about Benitez, they’re strong efficient and hard to beat.
“The Premier League with and without fans is not the same, the fans of Leeds are not the same as the majority of other fans in the league, not only because they are our fans, but because they are so generous in every game and this is unique.
Rafa Benitez on Leeds United
“Obviously it’s a different challenge,” said Benitez, asked about facing Leeds and Bielsa on the back of last weekend’s Saints success.
“I will say that normally when a manager has been in the job for some time, that’s an advantage.
“When a new manager has come in, you need some time to put all of your ideas in the heads of the players and the understanding of what you want to do.
“But we cannot complain and we are happy with where we are and I am really pleased with the attitude of the players.
“We are progressing and we are working really hard so we will see.
“Obviously the teams of Bielsa are very intense and they work very hard.
“They run a lot and we will have to manage that, trying to do that so that we can challenge and match their intensity and at the same time trying to play well.”
The scene is set
We’re in position
A new pitch today... here’s the transition
Leeds United arrive at Elland Road
Team news incoming
We’ll have official team news right here as it is announced at 2pm - will there be any changes for the Whites?