Leeds United-Everton Preview
Carlo Ancelotti has belief that his Everton side can overcome the loss of Lucas Digne, who is expected to be out for two-to-three months with an ankle injury.
Digne, a key part of Everton's defence and attack, is to undergo surgery next week after suffering ankle ligament damage in training ahead of Saturday's clash with Leeds United.
The France international has already registered four assists so far this season, and since he signed for Everton, Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are the only defenders to have set up more Premier League goals.
With Seamus Coleman also out, Ancelotti is shorn of his first-choice full-backs, but is confident his squad has the quality to cope.
"Digne is a big loss, he is a fantastic left-back, one of the best in Europe at the moment, but we have to manage this," he said.
"Unfortunately during a season it can happen. We have to be able to manage the situation and I think we will be able to adapt to the loss of Digne for two or three months.
"We have a good squad, good substitutes in that position. We have Nkounkou who doesn't have experience in the Premier League but has showed quality. We have Jonjoe Kenny on the right."
Saturday's clash at Goodison Park is the first managerial meeting between Ancelotti and Marcelo Bielsa, who lauded Everton's manager.
"I have respect and admiration for Ancelotti. First of all, he's been wanted by all the best teams in the world," Bielsa said.
"He has triumphed everywhere he has been, is a manager who is well respected by the players as well as his other colleagues and he's never been criticised on his way of playing. To have all of this in one manager is not very frequent."
Everton - Niels Nkounkou
With Digne set for an extended spell out, the onus will be on back-up left-back Nkounkou, with just one previous Premier League appearance to his name, to fill the void. Should the youngster start, he is sure to face a stern test.
Leeds United - Raphinia
Raphinia made his full Leeds debut in the draw with Arsenal, and the former Rennes winger was a constant threat. He had four shots, including one which hit the post, and registered one key pass, and his pace, tenacity and skill will be a real issue for Everton.
- Everton are unbeaten in their last 13 top-flight home games against Leeds (W6 D7) since a 2-3 loss in August 1990. Indeed, in the Premier League, Everton have only faced Fulham at Goodison Park more often without defeat (14) than they have Leeds (12).
- Leeds won their last meeting with Everton in all competitions, triumphing 2-1 in a League Cup tie in September 2012.
- Everton lost their last Premier League home game against Manchester United, but they have not lost consecutive home league games since September 2019.
- In their first four Premier League games this season, Leeds had 45 shots (11.3 per game), scoring nine goals for a conversion rate of 20 per cent. In their last five league games, they have had 85 shots (17 per game), but have scored just five goals (six per cent conversion rate).
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the Premier League's highest goalscorer this season, netting 10 goals in nine games. In the competition's history, only Les Ferdinand (13 in 1995-96) has ever scored more than 10 goals in his side's first 10 games in a single campaign.
- Patrick Bamford has scored in all four of Leeds' Premier League away games this season - only Thierry Henry at Arsenal in 2001-02 has scored in each of his side's first five games on the road in a single Premier League season.
Updated November 27, 2020