Maupay In Squad For Leeds Trip

Everton’s newest recruit Neal Maupay is set to be part of the Blues’ squad for Tuesday night’s clash with Leeds United at Elland Road (8pm BST).

The 26-year-old forward became the Toffees’ sixth summer signing on Friday evening but was unable to play in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Brentford.

He is, however, available for Everton’s meeting with Jesse Marsch’s side, with manager Frank Lampard revealing the Frenchman has trained twice at Finch Farm over the weekend.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Saturday evening, Lampard said: “Neal trained [on Saturday] at the training ground and we will all be in [on Sunday]so he’ll be able to train with some players who didn’t get lots of minutes against Brentford.

“We’ll see where he is but he’ll be involved in the squad I’m pretty sure.”

Lampard will be without Mason Holgate, though, after the defender was forced off at the Gtech Community Stadium with a knee injury.

The Blues boss revealed Holgate will have a scan soon, but with fellow centre-backs Yerry Mina (ankle ligaments) and Ben Godfrey (fractured fibula) also ruled out, it poses a selection problem.

“Mason opened up his knee and felt some pain so we’re going to scan it in the next day or so,” said Lampard. “The feeling is it’ll be weeks, as a maximum, we hope.

“It may take him out of the next couple of games, for sure, but I don’t want to jump the gun too much on that. Hopefully it’s not a really bad injury but we’ll scan it in two days’ time.

“You want stability and I think the boys at the back have been playing well, I have to say.

“As much as it’s difficult in the squad, you need cover and you need to be stable. The ones who aren’t playing don’t like not playing and the ones that are playing hopefully give you stability, so in the moments when Mason comes out and Keano comes on… We’ve got also Seamus there, Ruben that can play left-wing back and Myko who can play left centre-back.

“There are different solutions to the problem but it’s a shame because I think Mason was doing well.

“We know going to Leeds and Liverpool coming to us in the next two games we’re coming up against very mobile teams and Mason has been doing well against that sort of opposition since I’ve been here.

“We’ll have to find a way and stay together.”

Abdoulaye Doucoure (hamstring), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (knee) and Andros Townsend (ACL) are also sidelined for the Toffees.

Looking specifically at Leeds United, who have won two and drawn one of their opening four league games, Lampard said: “They lost at the weekend but they’ve made a good start.

“I watched their game against Chelsea and they’ve got such an energy about them that they’ve had since Bielsa’s time and fair play to Jesse Marsch, who has come in, kept them up and it feels now as a squad and as a club that he’s invigorated them with some good signings and passion and coaching, which I don’t see but you see a reflection of it on the pitch.

“It’ll be really tough. An evening game on a Tuesday night at Elland Road… It’s going to be a tough game, no doubt.”

Everton’s encounter with Brentford saw the Bees look to catch the Blues on the counter-attack on a number of occasions, particularly in the opening period.

And, following a similar challenge in their previous away encounter in the Premier League against Aston Villa, Lampard says defending transitions is an area he is looking to improve.

“There are two things,” he explained. “One is the work you can do on the training ground and reviewing what’s happened.

“We reviewed Aston Villa and the issue with the first goal – and this is football, you turn the ball over in the middle of the pitch and you can’t attack with 11 men behind the ball. It doesn’t work that way but you have to try to make the best to have good coverage of the pitch at all times in case you turn it over. I think the Villa goals were pretty specific and, other than that in that game, we were pretty solid.

“I thought against Brentford there were moments where we got it wrong in the first half and I didn’t like it. We were short. Defending a counter-attack is not about standing on the halfway line, it’s about stopping things at source and at times we didn’t do that well enough.

“So it’s about work on the training ground and personnel.

“I think when you have the energy of Amadou and Alex in midfield – and if we do add to that, that obviously helps that. Maybe it was something we were short on last year but we’re trying to build energy in the team and that certainly helps nullifying counter-attacks but, of course, it’s something you continually have to work on.”

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