We preview Sunday's Premier League clash between Everton and Leicester City.Everton will feel slightly gutted after a slightly anti-climactic end to a terrific rearguard at Old Trafford. The red card to Ashley Williams has left them in a rather interesting defensive situation that will require some lateral thinking from Ronald Koeman. Leicester’s magnificent resurgence continued when they picked up their fifth straight victory over a hapless Sunderland side. Their Champions League odyssey continues on Wednesday, which may see a few changes made in several areas. But I wouldn’t envisage a huge raft of changes as Craig Shakespeare aims to bring a greater sense of continuity to the side. This match should be an intriguing contest between two sides on upward trajectories.
Everton v Leicester City | Sunday 9 April | Goodison Park | 17:00
To Win (90 Mins)
Everton 7/10 | Draw 26/10 | Leicester 15/4
The suspension to Williams means that Koeman is going to have to get inventive with his selection this week, as Funes-Mori remains sidelined through injury. This is clearly all doubly exacerbated by the horror leg-break to Seamus Coleman. Young Matthew Pennington has looked assured in midfield and utilised by Koeman in an emergency center-back role. Considering the presence of the youthful Mason Holgate, this could be a tough afternoon if Vardy is able to get a run in behind this defence, especially with the slightly prehistoric running of Jagielka in cover.
Gareth Barry had a barnstorming performance against Chelsea and will look to hold the fort this week and assist a makeshift defensive line-up. Idrissa Gueye has been excellent and will look to keep Drinkwater and Ndidi pegged back in their efforts to get up in support of Vardy and company. Tom Davies will look to provide the same sort of spark that Riyad Mahrez is traditionally associated within the Leicester set-up. Romelu Lukaku’s quest for the Golden Boot has stalled slightly in his last two matches and I expect him to get back on the goal-scoring trail this week.
I find it slightly hard to stomach the run of Leicester and the apparent insurrection that took place there. Sorry, I can’t understand how a group of professional players can drop tools in the manner that they did, just because they didn’t agree with new tactics employed by the manager. They have looked every bit the champions in recent weeks, with Jamie Vardy coming back from the dead in miraculous fashion.
I think that Leicester will utilise Slimani from the get go this week, with Everton nursing so many defensive concerns. I would expect Marc Albrighton to come in for the effervescent Gray, with instructions to whip in balls for Slimani to attack. This game should suit Leicester’s counterattacking style to a tee. While I think that the home side will certainly have the lion’s share of possession, Leicester will quite happily sit back in the pocket and wait for their chance to launch those patented counterattacks.
Verdict: Over 2.5 Total Goals + Away to Win at 47/10
Scrolling through all the options, this one stuck out to me in a big way. Everton’s defensive concerns are huge. They will also feel quite deflated after that trip to Old Trafford. Leicester will sit back and are always dangerous on the break. I really think that the Foxes could spring a surprise this week in what should be an open match.
Written by Damien Kayat @Hollywoodbets