Everton 0-1 Leeds
- Goals: Raphinha (£5.4m)
- Assists: Jack Harrison (£5.5m)
- Bonus points: Illan Meslier x3 (£4.5m), Stuart Dallas x2 (£4.5m), Raphinha x1
Kalvin Phillips‘ (£4.9m) return to full fitness continues to help boost Leeds at both ends of the pitch as they came away from Goodison Park with a 1-0 win on Saturday afternoon.
While it was an open encounter, with big chances for either side, the Whites’ defensive midfielder covered every blade of grass to protect the back-four and dictate play moving forward.
Illan Meslier (£4.5m) should also take a huge amount of credit for Saturday’s clean sheet, contributing eight saves and walking away with maximum bonus and an 11-point score.
It has certainly not gone unnoticed that, in the two matches since Phillips came back from injury, Leeds are yet to concede. In fact, on average, Marcelo Bielsa’s men give up 1.3 goals per game with him in the side, compared to 2.7 per game in his absence.
Considering how poor Leeds were at the back in 4-1 defeats to Leicester and Crystal Palace, Fantasy Premier League managers had been targetting them for sure-fire attacking returns but both Arsenal and Everton have failed to capitalise on that in the last two Gameweeks.
The fact that Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.9m) recorded only his second blank of the season in Gameweek 10 is testament to what Leeds are capable of in terms of game management. That could be a factor that plays into the Gameweek 11 captaincy debate when Chelsea welcome the Whites to Stamford Bridge.
WHITE AS A CLEAN SHEET
Leeds’ upturn in clean sheets over recent weeks is definitely something for Fantasy managers to keep on their radar with the Whites’ fixture-swing in Gameweek 13.
Between then and Gameweek 16, they face Newcastle, Burnley and West Bromwich Albion, the latter two of the division’s lowest scorers this season.
While Phillips is not the sort of asset to warrant investment himself, his presence in the team boosts credentials for Luke Ayling (£4.5m), Stuart Dallas (£4.5m), and Ezgjan Alioski (£4.4m).
The appeal of the former is relatively straight forward, considering he is Leeds’ first-choice marauding right-back.
However, Dallas and Alioski could present more explosive potential considering how Bielsa has used them in recent matches.
Against Arsenal, the Northern Ireland international was deployed in central midfield with Alioski filling in at left-back. And, at Everton, Dallas returned to the left-hand side of defence while Alioski was deployed as a left-winger with Jack Harrison (£5.5m) tucked in at central midfield.
When Leeds’ more appealing fixtures do come closer to the horizon, Fantasy managers should check in to see how Bielsa has been using Dallas and Alioski over a longer period.
RAPH WITH THE SMOOTH
Owners of Patrick Bamford (£6.1m) might be a little concerned at his back-to-back blanks following the international break but, once again, it was not for the lack of trying against Everton.
The striker was easily Leeds’ greatest goal threat at Goodison Park, turning and shooting smartly early on, then forcing Jordan Pickford (£4.9m) into an excellent save with his foot before converting a Raphinha (£5.4m) cross only to see it ruled out for offside.
The Gameweek 11 trip to Chelsea is sure to be off-putting for some, especially considering the Blues’ recent defensive improvements. But given how often Bamford likes to fire off a shot, it makes sense to hold for those aforementioned appealing fixtures.
Fantasy managers have mostly drawn blanks when looking for an attacking alternative in midfield among Leeds assets this season but Raphinha appears to be making a case for himself.
Tipped by Tom Freeman in our Spot the Differential article this week, he finally followed up his Gameweek 9 promise by scoring at Everton.
That he was unfortunate to hit the post against Arsenal and added more threat in Gameweek 10, Raphinha is certainly one to watch for the coming weeks.
While Leeds were certainly worthy of the win on their own attacking merits, Everton’s poor defence played its part on Saturday.
They face Chelsea and Leicester in two of the next three, which could genuinely influence the captaincy debate in those Gameweeks considering how obliging they are.
The Toffees came into Gameweek 10 with the second-worst expected goals conceded (xGC) score over the previous four matches and matched that level of performance against Leeds.
Carlo Ancelotti kept faith with the 3-4-2-1 shape he has recently adopted even with Lucas Digne (£6.2m) out injured for several months.
However, he made a curious decision to omit Niels Nkounkou (£4.0m) from the starting line-up, deploying Alex Iwobi (£5.9m) as Digne’s replacement at left wing-back.
Needless to say, this was an area that Leeds targetted ruthlessly, Raphinha seeing much of his success as he got away from Iwobi’s attention with relatively little effort.
Everton XI (3-4-2-1): Pickford; Holgate (Bernard 82′), Keane, Godfrey; Iwobi (A Gomes 67′), Allan, Doucouré, T Davies (Delph 61′); Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Rodríguez.
Leeds United XI (4-1-4-1): Meslier; Dallas, Cooper, Koch, Ayling; K Phillips; Alioski, Harrison (Costa 89′), Klich, Raphinha (Poveda-Ocampo 85′); Bamford (Rodrigo 90+1′).
Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 10
- Crystal Palace 0-2 Newcastle United
- Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 Liverpool
- Manchester City 5-0 Burnley
- Everton 0-1 Leeds United
- West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Sheffield United
- Southampton 2-3 Manchester United
- Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur
- Arsenal 1-2 Wolves
- Leicester City 1-2 Fulham
- West Ham United 2-1 Aston Villa