Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Marco Silva could be asked to hand back his car park pass as soon as this Sunday evening if, as the bookmakers expect, his Everton side emerge on the wrong end of this battle in the East Midlands. Silva’s counterpart Brendan Rodgers has rejuvenated Leicester to the extent that people are wondering whether the Foxes can repeat the miracle of 2016. While the answer to that question is almost certainly “No”, few can fault their start to this campaign.
Leicester come into this game off the back of five consecutive wins, in which they’ve scored seventeen goals and conceded just once. Their opponents had managed a three-game unbeaten run of their own before last weekend, when they slumped to a 2-0 home defeat against Norwich. If Silva has one game to save his Everton career, it really is a rotten one to be given.
Leicester City vs Everton Prediction: Leicester City 2-0 Everton
Part of Everton’s problem right now is that it’s difficult to see what they do well. They’re not really pulling up any trees at either end of the pitch right now, despite having expensively assembled what looks like a decent squad. An attack with Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Theo Walcott should be better than their 13-goal underwhelmfest. Similarly, with Michael Keane and Yerry Mina in defence, they should be tighter at the back. They’re not, while Leicester have conceded fewer goals than anyone in the top flight, and outscored all but Manchester City; that’s why they’re clear favourites here.
Our recommended tip: James Maddison AGS
Deprived of a goal last weekend by one of the most circuitous VAR decisions you’re likely to see, Maddison’s total for the season fell back to four, but there’s a feeling it won’t be at that level for long thanks to the former Norwich man’s ability from set-pieces. Any free-kick within shooting range is a scoring opportunity for the midfielder, and Everton would be wise to avoid giving away cheap openings of that kind – but this is Everton we’re talking about, so they’ll probably fail to heed the warning
A fillip for Everton might come from the fact that both meetings of these sides last season ended in away wins. At the King Power, in October, the Toffees took an early lead through Richarlison, only for Ricardo Pereira to fire home an equaliser on 40 at the end of a counter-attack. With the match entering its last 15 minutes, and Wes Morgan having been sent off for the hosts, Sigurdsson supplied the winner with a stunning curler from distance. The sides met again on New Year’s Day in a truly lamentable match which barely deserves to be recorded in history. Jamie Vardy provided the one moment of interest, firing home from a Pereira pass on 58 minutes.
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Players to watch: Wilfried Ndidi & Richarlison
Attacking players have taken a majority of the plaudits for Leicester this season, but it’s their defence that has outperformed every other side. That’s due in no small part to the tireless work of Wilf Ndidi at the base of midfield. A machine of perpetual motion, he closes down attacks, wins the ball and releases his team-mates to do the rest. Like a tall NGolo Kante, Ndidi may not always get the headlines, but he does always get the ball.
Richarlison arrived at Everton in the summer of 2018, bringing him back under the tutelage of Silva, under whom he shone at Watford. Among the speculation over the Toffees’ boss’s future, it has not gone unnoticed that the Brazilian forward has gone off the boil considerably this campaign. Thirteen games this season have seen him score three times; he’d accumulated that total by the 121st minute of the 2018/19 season. Silva, and Everton, could really do with him finding some form here.