Leicester vs Everton – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Monday 1st May 2023
King Power Stadium
As part of our midweek Premier League predictions, we cast an eye over the relegation six-pointer between Leicester City and Everton. Leicester have started picking up points, whereas Everton were well beaten last time out. Free betting tips and more with our Leicester vs Everton prediction.
Leicester vs Everton Preview
Leicester come into this absolutely vital relegation six-pointer in poor form across recent months. Indeed, they have failed to win in 10 of their previous 11 league games. However, many of those games occurred under the last boss Brendan Rodgers. Since Dean Smith replaced him, Leicester have lost away to Man City (expected, but they showed fight towards the end and could have equalised), beaten Wolves, and drawn with fellow strugglers Leeds. Therefore, there has been a slight improvement. Smith has made some changes, such as playing Soumare and giving veteran Vardy more playing time.
With an xG of 2.61 against Wolves and 2.25 against Leeds, Leicester are creating more and might be coming into better form at just the right time. At the King Power this season, they’ve only four of 16 games and hope to remedy that. If Leicester can win this game, they will lift themselves out of the relegation zone and move to 32 points (two above Nottingham Forest and Leeds) and will likely need another three or four points after that to be safe (we think 35 or 36 might be enough this season). With Fulham, Liverpool, Newcastle and West Ham to finish the season, they have a tough run-in and must win here.
Everton make the trip to the Midlands in absolutely abject form. The Merseyside club haven’t won in six Premier League games and are trending in the wrong direction. This run includes defeats to Man United, Fulham and the horror show at Goodison Park last midweek, where Newcastle tore them apart. Highlights for Newcastle included a terrific run by Isak to set up Murphy and a beautiful curling effort from Wilson into the top corner. True, The Magpies are scoring for fun right now. However, Everton coach Sean Dyche will be very concerned about how easily they ripped Everton to shreds.
Away from home, Everton have been very poor. They have only won one game all season, on 14 January against likely-doomed Southampton. While Leicester could have been better at home, they will likely feel confident they can win here against an Everton side bereft of confidence. Indeed, the pressure is on Everton – with 28 points, they have Brighton, Man City, Wolves and Bournemouth to round out the season after this encounter. This run constitutes a very difficult climax, so Everton must win here and definitely cannot lose.
This match is a significant six-pointer between 18th and 19th place. It is no exaggeration to say that the loser’s relegation candidacy will skyrocket. Hence, this is a massive match.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Evans
Will Not Play: Pereira, Justin, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Iheanacho
Might Not Play: Coleman
Will Not Play: Holgate, Vinagre, Alli, Townsend
Leicester vs Everton Lineups (Predicted)
Leicester (4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3): Iversen; Kristiansen, Soyuncu, Faes, Castagne; Soumare, Tielemans; Barnes, Maddison, Tete; Vardy
Everton (4-5-1 / 4-3-3): Pickford; Mykolenko, Tarkowski, Keane, Coleman; McNeil, Gueye, Onana, Doucoure, Iwobi; Calvert-Lewin
Leicester vs Everton Analysis
Leicester Can Play On The Front Foot
Leicester are in a poor run of form, but the win against Wolves could prove vital. As stated, this match is a crucial relegation six-pointer, and the loser could go down. Therefore, we would expect Leicester to come out and play more on the front foot – Smith’s men know this is a must-win and will do everything they can to win. To that end, we see Leicester controlling possession.
The Foxes had more of the ball against Leeds but less against Wolves (about 59 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively), which might indicate that they can attain better results when they counter-attack. Leicester have averaged 49 per cent possession this season against Everton’s 43.5 per cent. With being at home, the onus is on them to attack.
Leicester must be careful, though – they must take care of the ball in defensive and midfield positions, as Everton will be physical and try to win the ball. In particular, Iversen, Soyuncu, Faes, Soumare and Tielemans constitute the spine of Leicester’s defence and midfield. They must be brave on the ball in the face of pressure from the Everton midfielders and front players.
Tielemans is pretty good in possession and has many touches of the ball – indeed, Leicester missed him when he was out. Therefore, he controls and breaks lines to get the ball into the forwards. He and Soumare must also get through much work when out of possession regarding closing down, so they must be industrious.
When Leicester can get the ball into the front players, they must produce creativity or invention to break down Everton. Maddison is Leicester’s best player and will float all over the place – sometimes wide and sometimes deep. He will try to get the ball on the half-turn to go against the Everton defence. Barnes and Tete must be positive and direct and attack the Everton full-backs. Vardy is back in the side now, and his runs in the box, ability to be a nuisance and finishing can all win Leicester this game. Overall, Leicester should play a mix of possession and transitional football. Praet, Dewsbury-Hall, Ndidi and Daka are also in contention to start or be introduced.
Everton Will Likely Be Physical And Play On The Counter
Under Dyche, Everton are a ‘dogs of war’ type side. Truthfully, they lack much quality, borne out by being the division’s lowest scorers. Therefore, as rudimentary as it sounds, we expect them to show up at the King Power fighting for their lives – trying to be organised and making it hard for Leicester. They will concede possession, attempt to close off the spaces, and press in midfield when they can so they can sometimes break.
Tarkowski and Coady at centre-back can be solid sometimes – they could repel Leicester. On the right of the defence, Coleman will likely be back, which is a boon for Everton as Godfrey and Holgate have struggled to produce anything in that area while he’s been out. Coleman will get up and down the flank (as will Mykolenko on the other side) and try to be industrious and honest – the Irishman must defend diligently against Barnes and get forward to deliver crosses when Kristiansen attacks for Leicester from left-back. The same will be true when Castagne moves forward at right-back, who is a positive weapon in attacking for Leicester.
In midfield, Everton have some talented players. The three-player partnership of Gueye, Onana and Doucoure gives them some life and energy. Gueye is good at sitting in defensive midfield positions and sweeping up. Onana and Doucoure, on the other hand, are both tall and athletic and can really press the opposition and try to give Everton some impetus, pace and power in midfield and attacking areas. Both are also good at joining the attack and are a threat at Everton’s set pieces, which will be necessary.
Indeed, crosses and set pieces are a massive part of Dyche’s style, so he will look to win corners and free kicks and deliver for the likes of Tarkowski, Coady, Onana, Doucoure and Calvert-Lewin. The latter is back and is the only goalscorer Everton have in the squad. He will play in the box and look to make runs to get on the end of crosses and cutbacks. To that end, there is much riding on McNeil and Iwobi’s performances – they must advance to deliver the ball and make something happen but must also support their full-backs defensively. Gray is a possible option from the bench; he is less defensively sound but offers the ability to create something from nothing.
This game is challenging to call, given the immense pressure both sides are under. Everton have won one away game all season. Leicester have had their issues, too – but as we always say, their players are too good to be down there in a relegation dogfight. The fact that they have been dragged into it this season says much about their dwindling confidence and the tactical ineptitude that previous coach Brendan Rodgers sometimes showed.
This match will likely be tight, but we are backing Leicester to win. With respect, Everton are terrible away from home and have only scored ten away all season. Leicester have the home advantage and superior players. It’s always tricky to get a handle on a game such as this, as both sides have struggled so much that there is little consistency, so you don’t know what will happen. This match is like a stoppable force meeting a moveable object. However, if Leicester can play somewhere close to their potential, they’ll have too much for Everton.
Much will depend on the energy of Everton’s three midfielders and Calvert-Lewin up top. However, we think Leicester have improved slightly under Smith and can keep a clean sheet into the bargain (though we wouldn’t be surprised if Everton score to make it nervy for Leicester).
Leicester 1-0 Everton
Leicester vs Everton Betting Tip – Leicester Odds:
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