Saturday 6th October 2018
King Power Stadium
The Toffees travel to The King Power in week eight of the campaign to take on Claude Puel’s Leicester. In a game involving two sides that have both enjoyed mixed starts to the season, its sure to be an intriguing clash.
The past week has provided the Blues with a real contrast of emotions, firstly clinching their second victory of the season and getting that elusive first clean sheet after a dominant second half saw off Fulham last Saturday. To then going out on penalties on Tuesday night to the Saints to once again put any hopes of league cup glory to bed, much to the disappointment of the Goodison faithful.
Focusing on the positives, last weeks second half was a joy to watch, the Blues played with confidence, looked dangerous and most of all, showed the clinical edge to see off a Fulham side that in the first half, themselves came close. A standout performance was that of Gylfi Sigurdsson, the Icelandic midfielder showed what a key component he really was to the Toffees. After missing his penalty it was looking like it was going to be another unconvincing result but the reaction and character, not only that of Gylfi but off the side as a whole was superb. After breaking the deadlock with a delicious curled effort into the bottom left corner, Everton were a team possessed and were slicing the Londoners open at will. The afternoon only improved for the Toffees when substitute Cenk Tosun came on and notched his much needed first goal of the season, heading in after a pinpoint delivery from the in-form Theo Walcott. It was that man Sigurdsson again in the 89th minute, making it 3-0, finishing off a move nicely created by Bernard, sealing the points.
In the end it was a great performance and a much needed victory for the hosts but there was still cause for concern in that first 45. Fulham should arguably have been in the lead going into the break with the best chance for the Cottagers falling to Ryan Sessegnon, with the full back only managing to find the bar. Overall, the signs were encouraging and the turn around in the second half displayed the qualities and capabilities of the squad. That level just needs to be present for the full 90 rather than one 45.
As far as injury news is concerned the Toffees worries are slowly being eased, however there are a few absences still. James McCarthy is again out as the midfielder continues his recovery, youngster Beni Baningime is also out and most notably, Yerry Mina has been set back, with the centre half now not expected back until mid October.
Andre Gomes’ recovery has gone well and is expected back in the near future.
Leicester come into the weekend having made a strong start to the campaign. The Foxes are on a two match winning run having scored five in those games whilst also looking strong at the back. The quality and pace Leicester possess going forward is always a cause for concern, and the newly signed James Maddison is looking like one of the buys of the summer.
Last time out, the Foxes saw off Newcastle away at St James’ after goals from Jamie Vardy and centre back Harry Maguire were enough to seal the points. In a cagey contest, ever present Vardy broke the deadlock from 12 yards out on the half an hour mark after DeAndre Yedlin was judged to have handled the ball. The second half only improved for the men in Blue after they saw their lead doubled when centre back Harry Maguire once again made a nuisance of himself and rose highest to meet a corner and put the Foxes in firm control.
Heading into the weekend, Leicester will be hopeful of making it three in three, and are sure to be looking at exploiting the visitors defensive issues. The pace and numbers that get forward for the Foxes is sure to give any side problems as we see time and time again. Corners with Maguire around are always a problem to deal with and are going to have to be restricted if the visitors hope to leave with the points.
Leicester go into the weekend with one absentee expected. Demarai Gray remains out as the winger recovers from an ankle injury.
Its sure to be a big test for the Toffees away at a side that possess the pace and strength of the Foxes going forward. Everton are yet to find a consistency to their play, as is expected when a new boss is introduced. On a positive note, a large portion of the squad is making their way back for a previously injury plagued set up. The goal for Cenk Tosun last week was huge for the forward in terms of confidence, the Turk target man must now take that forward and begin to re pay the fans with his investment.
Can the Blues find success on the road or is it set to be a King Power fall?
Leicester: Schmeichel; Amartey, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell; Mendy, Ndidi; Pereira, Maddison; Iheanacho, Vardy.
Everton: Pickford; Kenny, Keane, Zouma, Digne; Davies, Gueye, Sigurdsson; Walcott, Richarlison, Bernard.
Leicester 1-1 Everton.