Can Everton Halt Shakespeare’s Resurgent Leicester Side at Goodison?
Last updated: April 7, 2017 by Leon Marshal
|Coverage:||Sky Sports 1 (HD, Ultra HD)|
|Last Meeting:||Everton 1 – 2 Leicester|
|Competition:||English FA Cup|
Craig Shakespeare overtook Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink when he recorded his fifth win in five on Tuesday night at home to Sunderland. Victory at Goodison Park for his resurrected Leicester side will grant Ranieri’s successor entry to an exclusive club – alongside Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti – of managers who have begun reigns with six wins in a row. It’s hard to get behind the narrative of Shakespeare as managerial genius though. Since parting company with the record-breaking Italian following five defeats on the spin, the 2016 champions have picked up where they left off last season. Speculation around the players’ commitment earlier in the year is justified, and this new lease of life only fuels suspicion that some of that squad had downed tools.
Everton need to arrest a dip in form that has resulted in recent disappointments against rivals Liverpool and Manchester United. Ronald Koeman’s side were beaten convincingly at Anfield last weekend as the Dutchman was forced to field four teenagers and a makeshift defence. The Toffees fared better against Manchester United midweek, but a late Zlatan Ibrahimović penalty cost them two vital points. The Everton manager had won his two previous visits Old Trafford and commented after the game that Mourinho’s side are easier to play against because they aren’t ‘a team who will from the start press, press, press’. That is a luxury he is not going to be afforded against Leicester on Sunday.
Leicester City will, no doubt, have one eye on the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Atletico Madrid. The Foxes travel to Spain on Wednesday to face Diego’s Simeone’s men in what will be one of the biggest nights in the club’s recent history. Leicester’s Champions League dream continues in a week in which Jamie Vardy revealed he almost quit football to become a party rep in Ibiza, as recently as 2013. The England international was talked out of it by his current manager Shakespeare. Vardy’s recent upturn in form appears to be his way of saying thank you, and the striker will be dangerous against a young Everton defence in this fixture.
Wales Captain Ashley Williams is suspended for The Toffees after his late red card against Man Utd on Tuesday
Everton have big problems at the back as Funes Mori and Seamus Coleman are also set to miss out
Leicester’s Wes Morgan is still out with a back injury, although he will take a late fitness test
Nampalys Mendy is struggling with a knee injury and is very unlikely to feature at Goodison Park
|Everton (4-2-3-1):||Robles, Holgate, Pennington, Jagielka, Baines, Gueye, Barry, Davies, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku|
|Subs:||Stekelenburg, Kenny, Lookman, Valencia, Williams, Calvert-Lewin|
|Injured:||Coleman, McCarthy, Funes Mori, Schneiderlin, Bolasie, Besic, Lennon|
|Leicester (4-4-2):||Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi, Drinkwater, Gray, Vardy, Okazaki|
|Subs:||Chilwell, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Slimani, Ulloa, Zieler|
|Injured:||Morgan, Wague, Mendy|
So Far This Season
|Everton This Season||Leicester This Season|
|14 (4)||Wins (away)||10 (1)|
|4-0 vs. Man City/Hull||Biggest Win||3-0 vs. Burnley|
|9 (5)||Draws (away)||6 (3)|
|5-0 vs. Chelsea||Biggest Defeat||4-1 vs. Liverpool/Man Utd|
|Lukaku (21)||Top Goal Scorer||Vardy(10)|
|Y58, R2||Discipline||Y52, R1|
|5||Failures to Score||11|
|52%%||Both Teams to Score Games||50%%|
|48%||Over 2.5 Goals||63%|
|52%||Under 2.5 Goals||37%|
- Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku is formidable on home soil, and particularly good against sides outside of the top six. Back the big man to score anytime at 31/40.
- Jamie Vardy has scored five goals in five games under Craig Shakespeare. The England forward is usually hot out of the blocks, so backing him to score first at 7/1 is a good shout.
- Local midfielder Tom Davies is enojying a real breakthrough season at Everton. The 18-year-old signed a new five-year contract this week and if you fancy him to celebrate with a Man of The Match performance, you’ll get 11/1.
- There’s big money to be had in the score-draw market for this one. Everton’s home run must end sooner rather than later, and Leicester come into this the form side. A 2-2 draw is available for 15/1.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|07/01/2017||English FA Cup||Everton 2 – 1 Leicester City||Lukaku 63′|
|26/12/2016||English Premier League||Leicester City 0 – 2 Everton||Mirallas 51′|
|07/05/2016||English Premier League||Leicester City 3 – 1 Everton||Vardy 5′|
|19/12/2015||English Premier League||Everton 2 – 3 Leicester City||Mahrez 27′ (pen)|
|22/02/2015||English Premier League||Everton 2 – 2 Leicester City||Naismith 57′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Everton have turned Goodison Park into a fortress of late. The Merseyside club have won their last five home games – four of those five with clean sheets – scoring an average of 3.8 goals in the process. However, Everton’s last home defeat came at the start of January to Leicester in the FA Cup third round. The Toffees won the reserve fixture in the league on Boxing Day, and form tends to favour the away side when these two teams meet. You can get up to 15/4 on an away win on Sunday with Betway Sports.
There’s lots of juicy stuff in the goals market for this one. Goodison Park has been a goal-fest this year, including a 6-3 win over Bournemouth in February. Over 2.5 Goals looks like a safe bet here and is going for 17/20 on BetVictor. For those expecting a barnstorming start to the game, the odds jump to 11/2 for Over 2.5 Goals in the first half. This has all the makings of a Premier League classic, so settle in and spice things up with a cheeky wager.