Everton v Leicester City
Wednesday July 1, 18:00
Live on Sky Sports Main Event
Everton good since the restart
Everton have played just twice since the restart and a return of four points from those two games is a pretty good effort, especially when we remember that the draw was at home to Liverpool.
Carlo Ancelotti has done pretty well so far but he has some big decisions to make for next term. He’ll have a pretty good idea about six or seven of the players he intends to build his side around but it remains to be seen if that includes men like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Moises Kean or Theo Walcott.
At least he’ll be happy with his defence since the Premier League returned, keeping back-to-back clean sheets, a real rarity for Everton these days.
Richarlison could do with a good game here. He’s been repeating his usual trick of starting the season well and then sort of fading and he’ll be keen to change his reputation and show he can be consistent for a full season.
Leicester need to wake up
Brendan Rogers needs to make sure that he doesn’t let the season get away from them. They’ve already dropped four points from very winnable games against Watford and Brighton and crashed out of the FA Cup to Chelsea at the weekend.
The Cup is gone but they really don’t want to end up in a position where they finish fourth or worse still, fifth. If they did finish fifth, not only would they be relying on Man City to not appeal their ban successfully but they’d also need to go through qualifying. It’s all a far cry from when they were in second and absolutely flying.
It backs up the theory that they’re only as good as how Jamie Vardy is playing. He’s been quiet since the restart and the Foxes have suffered from it.
You could make a case for Everton here. Not only did they get good results over the past couple of weeks, they actually played pretty well, while Leicester just haven’t clicked.
The head-to-head record suggests this is a pretty even match when played at Goodison. Last year the Foxes actually won it 1-0 but in the two years before that it had been Everton winning 2-1 and 4-2.
So [2.66] looks pretty decent and you’ll see worse bets this week. It’s [3.05] on Leicester and [3.3] the draw.
Michael Keane may have grabbed the headlines for his goal at Norwich but he was just as impressive in his ‘day job’, forming an unlikely and very solid partnership with Mason Holgate.
With Leicester scoring just once in three games since the restart, one might think the Foxes may have trouble getting a goal here.
It really may have a lot to do with how Vardy plays. For the past three or four seasons their gameplan has been to play balls to him over the top or through the defence and not only has that not worked but the willingness hasn’t always been there, either.
The big price about an Everton clean sheet, [3.2], comes from the fact that they’ve kept just eight in 32 matches all season and that they’ve had trouble keeping the ball out of their own net against the Foxes over the past few seasons. But then again, these are quite different circumstances and with 0-0 and 1-0 very lively runners, we’re going to take a leap of faith on Everton’s defence here.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has seven bookings for the season, which is quite a lot for an attacker, but then again he’s always been a very physical player. He’s 9/2 to get another.
Tom Davies has seven as well but is shorter in the betting at 11/4 while Richarlison seems to find new ways to get himself in the book and is 4/1 to get his sixth of the season.
For Leicester Jonny Evans (11/4) and Nampalys Mendy (11/4) are among the usual suspects to get their name taken by David Coote.