Everton’s trip to Elland Road to take on Leeds United today is the first of two fixtures inside 24 hours. With the start of the new Premier League season just a week away, Roberto Martinez plans to use the two games to give the majority of his squad a ninety minute run out.
Championship Leeds United will provide a stern test and represent ideal opposition at this stage of the teams preparations. The Yorkshire outfit will strive to put one over their Premier League opponents and will be trying to impress their new manager ahead of their first league fixture against Burnley. For Uwe Rosler it will be the first time he has taken charge of Leeds at Elland Road and he will be eager to see how his new look squad is able to stand up against the obvious quality Everton possess.
The game will represent an excellent opportunity for Roberto Martinez to have a close look at long term target Sam Byram. The Leeds right back is highly rated and if the rumours about Tony Hibbert’s long term knee injury are true then Everton may consider a deadline day swoop for the England u20 full back.
It remains unclear who will play for Everton, but Roberto Martinez will supplement his starting line-up with several of the academy graduates who have impressed so far during pre-season. The likes of Conor McAleny, Keiron Dowell and Tyias Browning will be hoping to push their claims ahead of the Premier League campaign and will have one eye on the match day squad for the first game of the season against Watford. Hopefully all will impress again and as the video below shows, it won’t be the first time an Everton youngster has made quite an impact at Elland Road.
Certainly out are Mo Besic, Darron Gibson and Steven Pienaar, with all three missing from the Blues first competitive fixture next Saturday. Roberto Martinez will make a late decision on Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu, although both could feature at Goodison on Sunday instead.
The fixture will be streamed live on Everton TV with individual match subscriptions available for those who haven’t subscribed to the pre-season package. Unfortunately match tickets are not available on the day of the game so if you haven’t got a ticket already you will have to make do with coverage of the internet.