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One for the Fantasy Premier League supporters, the deadlock was broken in Newcastle’s clash with Everton through Jamaal Lascelles‘s own goal – assisted by Mason Holgate – before the two defenders comically swapped roles for the Magpies’ equaliser barely a minute later.
However, Newcastle came out all guns blazing in the second period following their fortunate equaliser, with Ryan Fraser propelling Eddie Howe‘s men into the ascendancy before Kieran Trippier‘s stunning free kick completed the job.
There was never going to be a quick fix for Everton under Frank Lampard, even if the Toffees did sell their fans a false sense of hope with their FA Cup thrashing of Brentford earlier this month, and the hosts are now edging closer and closer to a relegation scrap.
Everton enter the weekend’s matches down in 16th in the rankings – now just two points above the drop zone, albeit with games in hand over some of their bottom-five rivals – and their losing streak in the top flight now stands at an alarming four matches.
The 2-1 success over Arsenal back in December represents the Toffees’ only win from their last 14 in the Premier League, but four of their five league wins this term have come at Goodison Park, where they will relish the opportunity to make up some ground on the Whites.
As if the defeat was not painful enough for Everton, Lampard lost Yerry Mina and Demarai Gray to injuries in the first half at St James’ Park, and the Toffees boss has admitted that he is concerned about the former’s issue.
Gray’s problem is not thought to be too serious, but the attacker has entered the treatment room alongside Abdoulaye Doucoure, Tom Davies and Fabian Delph, with Ben Godfrey also out for approximately one month with a thigh issue.
With left-back Vitaly Mykolenko also a slight doubt due to illness, Jonjoe Kenny may be required on the left-hand side, and Lampard also ought to consider bringing Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek into the first XI this weekend.
As for Leeds, Mateusz Klich was a late casualty of the Aston Villa draw with a knock, which could see a recall for Adam Forshaw in the middle of the park alongside Robin Koch.
Bielsa continues to make do without Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper and Sam Greenwood as well as Bamford, but Junior Firpo has a strong chance of returning from a thigh problem.
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Jamie Shackleton will also come into contention for a start if Bielsa needs fresh legs in his high-pressing machine, but the bulk of the XI which started at Villa Park should be retained here.
Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Kenny; Allan, Van de Beek; Townsend, Alli, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin
Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Dallas; Koch, Forshaw; Raphinha, Rodrigo, Harrison; James