PREVIEW | EVERTON VS LEEDS UNITED
The big games are coming thick and fast for Everton.
Off the back of bowing out of yet another derby at Anfield with little more than a whimper, the Toffees now face a crucial bottom-of-the-table clash with Leeds United.
The Lilywhites are currently without a manager, having sacked Jesse Marsch within the last two weeks and have confirmed Michael Skubala will continue to take interim charge for their trip to Goodison.
Meanwhile, the match will be Sean Dyche’s third in charge of the Blues and undoubtedly the most important so far.
The Toffees can climb above their opponents and out of the relegation zone with a win over Leeds.
The match is the first a streak of several important fixtures which could make or break Everton’s season.
Last season, the Goodison fixture between the two sides came at a similar point in the campaign and was also Frank Lampard’s third match at the helm.
Evertonians will be hoping for similar to the emphatic 3-0 victory they watched their side record in last season’s edition.
One to watch – Amadou Onana
It’s been a patchy run of form for the Blues of late but one of their consistently high performers has been Amadou Onana.
The summer signing has been playing with a level of professionalism beyond his years and looks to be going from strength to strength.
While he failed to get too much of a hold on proceedings against Liverpool, he was the best player on the pitch in Everton’s 1-0 win over Arsenal two weeks ago.
With a key part of Leeds’ play being their dominance in midfield, the Belgian could be integral to making that as difficult as possible for Skubala’s side.
One to watch – Wilfried Gnonto
Wilfried Gnonto has gone under the radar as one of the best bargains in the Premier League this season.
The 19-year-old has already made eight appearances for Italy’s senior side and yet the Lilywhites were able to snap him up for just £3.8m from Zurich in the summer.
He has made 11 appearances for Leeds since, scoring twice including in the first minute of a 2-2 draw at Manchester United last week.
The left-winger’s pace, trickery and an eye for goal will undoubtedly be one of the biggest threats Everton are going to have to deal with on Saturday.
Sean Dyche’s first two matches were free hits in some way, against far superior opposition and yet the Toffees have come away with more points than anyone could have truly believed possible.
But now is where it really counts as a defeat against yet another relegation rival in the form of Leeds would be disastrous.
Everton are now entering a run of more winnable fixtures and with it comes the chance for Dyche to truly earn his stripes.
It all starts today.