The late afternoon kick off in the Premier League on Saturday sees Leicester travel to Goodison Park to face Everton in what is an intriguing battle. The home side come into this one on the back of two clean sheets and four points at Fulham and here against Crystal Palace two weeks ago. The visitors arrive having picked up their form in recent weeks. In their last four games, they have amassed seven points whilst only conceding 1 – to Manchester City.
Everton’s defensive form has improved drastically so far this season. Last weekend, they kept Fulham to no goals at Craven Cottage, the first team to do so this campaign and only four teams (Newcastle, Arsenal and Manchester City) have conceded fewer than their 12. However, slight cause of concern will be their attack, which has the third-worst performing, only scoring ten goals all season, including three in one game.
The two recent results have seen them climb to 12th; however, a win could see Leicester (who start in the relegation zone) climb above them, which shows how tight the division is as we approach the break for the Qatar World Cup. Everton will again be without Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey and Andros Townsend, but have no new injury concerns and could put out the same team as that had a stalemate at Craven Cottage last weekend.
Leicester started the season in very bad form and their defence was in pieces with the lack of investment, as well as losing Wesley Fofana and Kasper Schmeichel. However, the introduction of Wout Faes has seen a massive upturn in not only their defensive ability, but their form as well, keeping four clean sheets in the seven games he has started.
They played well against Manchester City and managed to keep one of the best teams in the world at bay, only being broken down by a wondrous free kick from one of the best midfielders in the league, Kevin de Bruyne. This broke a run of three consecutive clean sheets, where they managed to score six goals in the process. This has now seen them keep four clean sheets in six, a feat which seemed highly unlikely after conceding six to Brighton and Tottenham consecutively in mid-September.
However, they are still in the relegation zone and results will need to continue to improve in their worst start to a Premier League season since 2014/15. Leicester have no fresh injury concerns and could start with the same team that faced Manchester City, but will likely drop Soyuncu (who has just returned from injury) and revert back to a four-defender formation, with Wilfried Ndidi coming back in.
Everton v Leicester City Bet Builder Tips
Under 2.5 Goals
As mentioned above, Everton rank among the top for goals against but the worst for goals scored. This has seen an average of just 1.77 goals per game for them this season, a number which falls to 1.67 at home. Three goals at home will have been a relief for Frank Lampard against Crystal Palace as they only managed three in their first five games.
At the back, they’ve been resolute, with only four home goals conceded. The underlying data suggests that these numbers are slightly down on what could be expected but not by a massive amount – averaging 1.01 xGF and 1.22 xGA per game at home. This line has landed in four of their six home games.
Not so long ago, you’d have been mad to be on Leicester games to be low scoring. However, five clean sheets in seven has seen this line land in three of their last four games. They seem to have sorted out their defence to a large extent and given Everton’s worries in front of goal, I think that they will struggle to break Leicester down.
Goals haven’t been a problem for Leicester going forward at all so far this season, and they have scored twelve in their six away games and 21 across all their 13 games. However, this is a much more defensive and resolute Leicester team than that started the season and Brendan Rodgers will be hoping for back-to-back clean sheets on the road following their 4-0 hammering at Wolves two weeks ago.
James Maddison to Score or be Carded
James Maddison continues to try and force himself into the final England squad and has been in fine form this season with six goals and two assists in his eleven games this season. He has also racked up a massive 33 shots with 13 on target, including at least six on two separate occasions.
The midfielder has also shown he is capable of scoring away from the King Power stadium as he has scored three on his travels, including one at Wolves two weeks ago. The midfielders’ minutes are nailed, and he always creates plenty of chances for himself. He is also on set piece duty and is more than capable of hitting a free kick into the top corner.
However, as good as the England international is, he also picks up several yellow cards. His five yellow cards have seen him already face a suspension this season and he has conceded 16 fouls, with at least one in nine of his 12 games. On the road in the league, he has conceded eight fouls and at least two in three of his five games.
Harvey Barnes to have 1+ Shots on Target
Harvey Barnes has been consistently putting up good numbers for Leicester for several seasons now, with at least six goals in each of his last seven seasons, and a massive 16 goal contributions for Leicester last season. This season, he has already scored four and he will hope to build on this. He has had at least two shots in nine of his 12 games, and has racked up 12 shots on target. In his last eight games, he has averaged one shot on target per game, including at least one in his last six.
This season Everton have faced a left winger in ten of their 13 league games, conceding 22 shots to these players. In three of the last four left winger’s they’ve faced, the player has had at least one shot on target, and last week Willian managed a massive three shots on target from the four attempts he had.
Seamus Coleman was very poor on the day, and this could see Nathan Patterson come back in to replace him, however, I think that Coleman will play, and this will provide Harvey Barnes with opportunities to hit the target.
Over 3.5 Cards
Everton are a team with quite a few cards in their matches, averaging 4.69 cards per game and 4.67 at home. Five of their six home games have seen four or more cards and they have received at least two in all six, and at least three in four of the six. Leicester card stats aren’t so good but both teams have been booked in all their away games this season and 38% of their games have seen at least four cards.
The referee for this game is David Coote who averages 3.77 cards per game across his career. He has shown at least four cards in almost half of his games. Whilst Leicester and Coote’s card stats may not be too high, I think that given in the context of this game – which should be close – we could see a scrappy affair with plenty of fouls, especially if the game becomes stretched after a goal.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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How to watch Everton v Leicester City in the Premier League?
📅 When is Everton v Leicester City? / Saturday, 5 November 2022, 17:30
🏟 Where is Everton v Leicester City? / Goodison Park (Liverpool)
📺 What TV channel is Everton v Leicester City on? / Sky Sports Main Event 🟨 …And who is the referee for Everton v Leicester City? / D. Coote 🏴