Leicester City will host Everton at King Power Stadium in this intriguing Matchweek 8 meeting of two clubs who prefer attacking soccer. Both clubs have set their sight on a Top 7 finish before the English Premier League started and a spot in the European club competitions next season.
Leicester City currently find themselves in the 8th place in the English Premier League with 12 points to their record. Their amazing run to the English Premier League title several seasons ago, seems like a distant memory, as most of the members of that squad are now playing for major clubs across England and Europe.
Everton have made a controversial hiring of Marco Silva as their manager before the season started and went on the biggest spending spree in the history of the club, in order to make a run at a Top 7 finish and in the future to challenge the clubs from the Big 6 group. The results, so far, have been less than stellar, as they find themselves in the 11th place in the English Premier League with 9 points from their first 7 matches.
If you would like to know more about this match and its key storylines, I have prepared a short breakdown of the match and some betting predictions, so feel free to read on.
Leicester City vs Everton Odds
Leicester City vs Everton Pick
Both sides have hit some rough patches this season in the English Premier League but have also demonstrated the ability to play elite soccer when motivated and properly coached. As the season wears on, I expect both sides to slowly become more consistent and their talent level to slowly separate them from the rest of the mid-pack teams in the EPL.
Leicester City have won 4 out of their first 7 matches in the EPL and lost 3. It is important to note that 2 out of those 3 losses have come at the hands of powerhouses Liverpool and Manchester United, and the last loss was to Bournemouth. At the same time, Leicester City have beaten Wolves, Southampton, Huddersfield Town and Newcastle. Both the offense and the defense rank in the middle of the league, with a note that Leicester City have been very opportunistic when playing weaker teams.
Everton have struggled a bit more in the EPL this season, recording 2 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses so far. Their wins have come against Fulham and Southampton, who are both supposed to be fighting to avoid relegation this season in the EPL. Everton have particularly struggled in their away matches this season and are yet to record a win in their away matches.
Leicester City and Everton have met on 108 previous occasions, with Everton holding a slight edge in the matchup with 41 wins, Leicester City winning 35 matches and 32 matches ending in a draw. The recent history tells a similar story, as the clubs have met on 10 occasions in the last decade, with Leicester City winning 5 of those, Everton winning 3 and 2 matches ending up in a draw.
The last 7 matches have not ended up in a draw, with Leicester City winning 4 of those matches and Everton winning 3. Leicester City have been undefeated at home versus Everton since 1997, when the Blues have won 0-1, making that streak 21-years without a home defeat against Everton.
The matchup has been fertile when it comes to goals in recent history, with 9 out of the last 11 matches between the two sides ending up in more than 2.5 goals scored in them. It is important to note though, that Leicester City as a host, hasn’t really been that welcoming for goals though. Only 2 out of the last 10 Leicester City home matches against Everton have ended up with more than 2.5 goals scored.
Both sides have showcased their offensive talent in the EPL this season, with Leicester City scoring 13 goals in their opening 7 matches, while Everton have scored 11 during the time span. Neither of the sides are competing in the European competitions this season, so they should be fresh and rested for this match.
When it comes to injuries, Leicester City will be without the services of Gray and James who are out with lower-leg injuries. The situation is much more complicated at Everton, who will miss Baningme and McCarthy due to injuries, but also have 3 more players facing fitness tests for this match, Mina, Gomes and Coleman.
I expect both Leicester City and Everton to focus on their offense as the primary tool for winning in this matchup. Both sides have failed to protect their net since the beginning of the EPL and that can’t be fixed overnight. The key to the matchup will be in how will the wing defenders of both clubs match up with the wide attackers who have plenty of pace. The likes of Vardy, Iheanacho, Maddison and Pereyra for Leicester City and Richarlison, Walcott and Calvert-Lewin for Everton should have more than enough space to showcase their talents and create plenty of scoring opportunities.
I believe that Leicester City are favorites in this one because of the home field advantage and Everton’s abysmal away record certainly doesn’t help here. Yet, I think it would be foolish to write Everton off in this one, because they have plenty of talent and could cause all kinds of problems to Leicester City if they play well. Still, I find it hard to pick against Leicester City at home in this one. Until Everton prove they can be relied upon on the road, I will have to pick against them in these situations.