Leicester City and Everton meet at the King Power Stadium as both teams look to build on the impressive wins from the weekend.
Leicester City are currently sat third on the points table just a single point behind league leaders Liverpool and Tottenham. Everton will certainly not make things easy as the Foxes look to leapfrog to first place with a win. Everton, too, would be hoping to take all three points and attempt to break into the top four.
Both these teams have been exciting prospects in the Premier League with top quality squads and certainly talented coaches to lead them. As we enter the festive period of the Premier League, it will be interesting to see whether these teams can stay injury-free and build on the strong start that they have achieved.
Both Leicester and Everton obtained important and impressive victories on the weekend. Leicester beat Brighton 3-0 with James Maddison particularly impressing for the Foxes. Everton, on the other hand, produced a resolute defensive performance that helped them beat the high-flying Chelsea with a narrow scoreline of 1-0.
Team News & Tactics
After a difficult period for Leicester where they sustained a lot of injuries, the core of their team is on the verge of returning. Brendan Rodgers deserves a lot of credit for tweaking his style and system to accommodate the players that he has and be able to continue earning points. Caglar Soyuncu, Timothy Castagne and Ricardo Pereira are all out of contention for the game versus Everton.
Jonny Evans picked up his 5th yellow card of the season versus Brighton and will be suspended for the Everton game. This poses a selection headache for Rodgers. He could be tempted to use Wilfred Ndidi as a centre-back and use Nampalys Mendy in midfield, while Wes Morgan, too, could get a rare call-up into the side.
Ndidi has started Leicester’s last 2 games in less than a week, so Rodgers may be careful with him as he should be. Which means a midfield duo of Mendy and Youri Tielemans is on the cards.
James Maddison is expected to start and build on an impressive performance in the previous week. He is likely to be partnered by the rested Harvey Barnes, while the prolific Jamie Vardy leads their attack from the front.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Schmeichel; Fuchs, Morgan, Fofana; Albrighton, Tielemans, Mendy, Justin; Barnes, Maddison; Vardy
After an impressive win against Chelsea at home, Everton travel to the King Power Stadium and face another difficult match. With the important injuries being nursed by the Merseyside club, it will be difficult to maintain the standards of the previous game once again with the lack of depth.
Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that despite resuming to training, James Rodriguez and Seamus Coleman will both miss the game as Ancelotti does not want to risk them. Lucas Digne and Jean-Philippe Gbamin remain sidelined for an extended period.
🤕 | Carlo reports no fresh injuries, but Coleman, James and Delph all set to miss #LEIEVE.
— Everton (@Everton) December 15, 2020
Everton started with four centre-backs in their defence versus Chelsea. However, the Toffees could be tempted into matching Leicester’s shape and revert to a back three, with Alex Iwobi playing as a wing-back. Ben Godfrey, who was singled out for praise by Carlo Ancelotti, has impressed since signing for Everton and will be key to marshalling a tenacious Leicester attack.
Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan should start in central midfield, while Gylfi Sigurdsson hones the role of the attacking midfielder. A front-two of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin would be key to Everton’s chances to bully a weakened Leicester backline.
Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Pickford; Keane, Mina, Godfrey; Iwobi, Allan, Doucoure, Holgate; Sigurdsson; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
- Leicester have won three of their last five home games versus Everton in the Premier League which is as many as they did in their previous 16.
- In the last 15 Premier League games between the two clubs, Everton have only kept a clean sheet once – winning 2-0 in 2016.
- After winning four out of their first four matches, Everton have gone on to only win 2 out of their next eight – the most recent coming versus Chelsea where they kept only their second clean sheet of the season.
- Carlo Ancelotti has won all three of his meetings with Brendan Rodgers in all competitions. He won twice with Real Madrid in the 14/15 season when Rodgers was at Liverpool, and the third was in the Premier League towards the end of last season.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored 19 goals in 32 Premier League games under Carlo Ancelotti in comparison to the 16 scored in 94 appearances before that.
Player to Watch
After struggling with an injury at the start of the season, Maddison was slowly integrated by Rodgers into the first team again. Rodgers deserves a lot of credit for his man-management, as Maddison’s performances in recent weeks have been stellar.
Maddison produced fantastic numbers versus Brighton, scoring 2 goals and being the chief creator of the side. With Ancelotti emphasizing on preventing Leicester to play on the counter, a lot will ride on Maddison’s creativity to beat Everton’s compact shape. He will be key to Leicester’s success
Leicester City 2-1 Everton
Everton have only kept 2 clean sheets this season and their list of injuries does not give much confidence for the Toffees. After a strong performance versus Chelsea, it will be difficult for them to maintain those standards after a two-day rest.
Leicester, on the other hand, looked really good versus Brighton and will be hoping to continue their form, with the incentive of going top of the table at their disposal. The Hard Tackle predicts the Foxes to prevail against Ancelotti’s side on Wednesday.