Goodison Park is the venue as Everton and Leeds United go head-to-head in a Premier League relegation-six pointer on Saturday afternoon.
Sean Dyche got his managerial career on Merseyside off to a flying start, with James Tarkowski leading the Toffees to a stunning 1-0 home triumph over leaders Arsenal a fortnight ago.
But a 2-0 defeat in Monday’s Merseyside derby at bitter rivals Liverpool brought Everton back down to earth, dousing the optimism in the home camp ahead of this potentially pivotal fixture.
Everton’s season is at a crossroads as they start this round one place and point below 17th-placed Leeds, highlighting the significance of maintaining an impressive ten-game top-flight H2H form (W5, D4, L1).
Yet to find a permanent replacement for Jesse Marsch, who received his marching orders after the Whites lost 1-0 at Nottingham Forest earlier in February, the visitors are still dependable on caretaker boss Michael Skubala.
Skubala was inches away from taking down Manchester United on his touchline debut last Wednesday before his side spurned a 2-0 lead in an action-packed 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.
Leeds hoped to go one better when the two sides locked horns at Elland Road at the weekend, but goals from Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho within the last ten minutes fired the Red Devils to a 2-0 win.
Now winless in nine successive Premier League games (D4, L5), the Whites could slip back into the relegation zone unless they find a way out of this severe crisis.
Everton have suffered five defeats from seven league matches since the Premier League resumed on Boxing Day (W1, D1), with much of the blame falling on an uneventful frontline.
You’d need to go back to late October and a 3-0 home demolition of Crystal Palace for the last time the Toffees netted more than once per league game.
They have since failed to get on the scoresheet in five out of ten Premier League outings, scoring precisely once in the other five, as they start this round as the league’s lowest goalscorers (16).
Since toppling Chelsea in late August, Leeds have registered fewer wins throughout the next 19 Premier League rounds than any other side (W2, D6, L11).
Considering they’ve managed just one win on their last 15 league visits to Goodison (D7, L7), it’s hard to expect the Whites to return to winning ways for the first time since early November.
Adding to this sentiment, subdued Leeds are winless in their last three top-flight encounters against teams starting the matchday in the relegation zone (D2, L1).
Everton vs Leeds United Potential Line-ups
Everton (4-2-3-1): Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, Conor Coady, James Tarkowski, Vitaliy Mykolenko; Amadou Onana, Idrissa Gueye, Abdoulaye Doucoure; Dwight McNeil, Alex Iwobi; Demarai Gray.
Leeds United (4-2-3-1): Illan Meslier; Luke Ayling, Robin Koch, Maximilian Wober, Junior Firpo; Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie; Wilfried Gnonto, Jack Harrison, Crysencio Summerville; Patrick Bamford.
How to Watch?
Everton vs Leeds United, alongside all other fixtures in England’s top flight, is available to watch online via live Premier League streams.
Everton vs Leeds United Prediction
The spoils were shared in an evenly-contested 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in August and we can easily envisage an identical scoreline taking place this weekend.
But Dyche’s impact cannot be underestimated, so we’re encouraged to give Everton the upper hand.
Everton 2-1 Leeds United
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