The battle of the Blues comes to Merseyside this week as Everton and Leicester look to turn their fortunes around.
Leicester travel to Goodison Park having won just three games since Boxing Day and were beaten in their last outing by Chelsea in the FA Cup Quarter Finals on Sunday. Everton picked up their first win in five games last time out, beating Norwich 1-0 thanks to a goal by Michael Keane.
In terms of team news, not much has changed for either side. Leicester are still without long-term absentees Ricardo Pereira and Daniel Amartey, while James Maddison is a doubt with the same hip injury that saw him miss the defeat to Chelsea. Everton are still without Theo Walcott and Jean-Phillipe Gbamin but beyond that are at full strength.
The Foxes will be looking to their talisman Jamie Vardy for inspiration, with Chelsea, Manchester United and Wolves hot on their heels in the race for the Champions League places. Vardy is currently sitting on 19 Premier League goals for the season and 99 Premier League goals for his career. He hasn’t scored since the season resumed and Leicester are still awaiting their first win. Coincidence?
Everton’s form has been better but their performances have certainly not been good. A 0-0 draw with new Champions Liverpool in the opening fixture after the league was paused followed by a 1-0 away win at Norwich certainly isn’t anything to complain about on paper, but they’ve not looked at their best.
Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have yet to really get going, while midfielders Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bernard, Andre Gomes and Alex Iwobi have struggled to have any sort of impact on Everton and it could lead to Carlo Ancelotti ringing the changes.
Should Everton avoid defeat, it will be the first time since 2013 that they’ve gone nine home games unbeaten, while a Leicester win would see them complete a league double over their opponents for just the second time ever.
Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Digne; Richarlison, Davies, Sigurdsson, Iwobi; Calvert-Lewin, Kean
Leicester: Schmeichel; Justin, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Ndidi, Tielemans; Ayoze, Iheanacho, Barnes; Vardy
With the current form of both teams and the scenarios surrounding their current league positions, Leicester will be desperate for a win here. After crashing out of the FA Cup they can now fully focus on maintaining their league position and claiming a place in next season’s Champions League. Everton will have other plans though. They have already surpassed their points total of the last two seasons and know that a string of wins in a league as tight as this could see them battling for a place in Europe.
Both sides are struggling for goals at the moment and seem to be defending better. This will be a close affair and it could be the odd goal that separates the two sides after 90 minutes.
Under 2.5 goals – 4/5 (William Hill)