Everton will have to be more compact and alert on the counter attack when they host Leeds United at Goodison Park on Saturday evening.
That’s according to former Everton defender Michael Ball, who has been looking ahead to the game next weekend, and believes his former side could find life difficult against the Whites.
Leeds will be looking to end a run of three games without a win when they make the trip to Merseyside this weekend, although some impressive performances have highlighted the quality they possess regardless.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side were unlucky not to take all three points against at the weekend, and the ability they showed on the counter is something that Ball believes could be a problem for Everton when the two sides go head to head.
Giving his assessment of Leeds, and discussing where they could be a threat to Everton, Ball told The Liverpool Echo: “The way Leeds play, I’ve been very impressed with them. They’re exciting to watch every time they’ve played this season.
“It’s going to be a difficult game for us and we’ve got to be switched on, because they’ve got the energy to go for 90 minutes.
“Against Arsenal they created enough chances to win that game so we’ve got to be able to find a solution to stop them counterattacking, which hasn’t been the best side of our game.”
Despite that, Ball does believe his old club could still pose plenty of challenges for Leeds on Saturday, if they do not give the Whites an easy ride, something he believes they have been guilty of doing recently, as he went on to add: “We’ve been too nice at times and let teams break us down far too easily, so we’ve got to be very compact and make sure there are no spaces in the centre.
“If we play to our strengths, we can cause them problems as well. But better decisions in certain situations is what we’ve got to work on. Fulham, if they had a bit more quality in certain situations, could have got something this weekend.”
I do agree with Ball here that Leeds have the potential to pose a problem for Everton on Saturday.
The Toffees made what should have been a straightforward win over Fulham on Sunday look relatively difficult, and given Leeds have looked a stronger side than Fulham this season.
As a result, you would expect Bielsa’s side to pose a bigger problem for Everton than Fulham this weekend.
Indeed, having missed out on a win they should really have taken against Arsenal on Sunday, they will no doubt be determined to claim all three points at Goodison, and ought to be confident of having a chance of doing so.