PREVIEW | Everton vs Leicester City

It seems an age ago that Everton ground out a vital 1-0 win at home to Manchester United thanks to a deflected Anthony Gordon strike.

It was another game where Goodison Park was at its very best and it proved a huge relief after a catastrophic defeat away at Burnley a few days before it.

But now the Toffees must go again and their next fixture is one of the more favourable out of the remaining matches they have left: a visit from Leicester City.

In previous years, the Foxes have been flirting with the European places under Brendan Rodgers but this campaign has proved slightly more challenging as they find themselves sat in ninth place, a whole nine points off eighth-placed Wolves.

The Blues will be hoping to capitalise against an opposition whose domestic season is all but over and whose energies seem to be entirely focused on trying to win the Europa Conference League.

Frank Lampard’s side has been dealt a boost as both Yerry Mina and Donny van de Beek return to full fitness meaning the Toffees or more at less at full strength.

 

One to watch – Everton

The return of the towering Colombian centre-back could be absolutely crucial for the Blues.

The 27-year-old is indisputably Everton’s best defender and arguably their best player full stop but his bad luck with injuries has made him somewhat of a liability as he has only managed 10 league appearances this season.

It could be argued that had Mina remained fit, the Toffees would not be in just as much of a mess as they find themselves in and the majority of the Goodison faithful will have their fingers and toes crossed he can see out the remainder of the campaign.

His aerial presence and defensive intelligence make him an invaluable asset, not to mention his ability to get under the skin of opposing players and if Lampard deems him fit enough to play, he will almost certainly be starting.

 

One to watch – Leicester City

A name that will be familiar with all Evertonians after spending two and a half years at Goodison between 2017-19, Ademola Lookman has had a rather impressive loan spell with the Foxes this season.

He scored the only goal when Leicester beat Liverpool on 28 December, one of only two defeats our deadly rivals have suffered in the league this season, and was also on the scoresheet at the weekend in his side’s 2-1 defeat away at Newcastle United.

His pace and trickery will cause problems to whoever Lampard elects to start at right-back, most likely Seamus Coleman.

And if history tells us anything, the former Everton man is almost destined to score against his former employers.

Every match from now is an absolute must-win for the Toffees if they are to pull themselves away from the relegation places.

They can build a six-point gap away from Burnley before the Clarets face Southampton the following day.

Hopefully another spirited performance like the one seen against Manchester United, as well as a raucous Goodison under the lights, can see Everton gain another valuable three points.

 

Prediction: 1-0

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