Having both failed to take home three points or find the back of the net last weekend, Everton and Leicester City will aim to right those wrongs in Saturday evening’s Premier League contest at Goodison Park.
The Toffees battled to a goalless draw away at Fulham last time out, while Brendan Rodgers’s side fell to a 1-0 defeat to reigning champions Manchester City.
Not for the first time in an Everton shirt and probably not the last, Jordan Pickford was on song to keep Fulham at bay last weekend, as Everton kept a second successive clean sheet and made it back-to-back unbeaten matches in a goalless draw with the Cottagers.
Frank Lampard’s men have bounced back from successive defeats to Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United in relatively impressive fashion, and sitting 12th in the table is not precarious by any means, although only three points separates them from the drop zone.
A pair of meetings with Bournemouth in the EFL Cup and Premier League awaits Everton before the World Cup as they aim to end a topsy-turvy year on a high, but Lampard has sought to increase his side’s defensive perseverance, and those efforts are paying dividends.
Only Arsenal, Man City and Newcastle have conceded fewer than the 12 goals that the Toffees have shipped in league action this term, with the experienced partnership of Conor Coady and James Tarkowski working wonders, but at the other end, Everton have failed to score in three of their last four outings.
A tally of two wins from their six league games at Goodison Park does not make for positive reading, but conceding just four goals at home puts Everton among the best in the league in that regard, and they could now record three straight clean sheets in the league for the first time since the days of Carlo Ancelotti in March 2021.
One should not be knocked for losing to the Premier League champions, especially when it took a slice of Kevin De Bruyne magic for Man City to get over the line, as Erling Braut Haaland’s absence hit Pep Guardiola’s side hard at the King Power Stadium.
Danny Ward thwarted Man City time and time again before De Bruyne stood over a free kick within striking range in the 49th minute, and the Belgian spectacularly found the back of the net to break Leicester’s resilience, but it was a performance that Brendan Rodgers could take great encouragement from nonetheless.
However, great encouragement does not win Leicester any points, and the Foxes remain in relegation danger as a result, occupying 18th place in the table and finding themselves one point adrift of Southampton in the safety of 17th place.
Prior to losing to Man City, Leicester had kept three successive clean sheets in the Premier League and have only lost twice in their last six top-flight outings since the start of October, and no Wolverhampton Wanderers fan will need reminding of how the Foxes ended their losing run on the road at Molineux.
However, not since December 2020 have Leicester won consecutive Premier League games away from home, and Everton have avoided defeat in each of their last five top-flight meetings with the Foxes, and the most recent two clashes at Goodison Park have both ended 1-1.
Everton Premier League form:
Leicester City Premier League form:
We say: Everton 1-1 Leicester City
With Leicester yet to win a game this season in which they have conceded, Everton can feel confident of gleaning at least a point should they find the back of the net on home soil.
Both defences have proven themselves to be solid in recent weeks, and Leicester cannot expect to hit four goals on the road like they did at Molineux, so we can envisage a third successive 1-1 draw between the sides at Goodison Park.