Leicester City 14th (2-3-4) vs Everton 18th (2-2-5)
Sunday 12 PM ET, King Power Stadium
The new man in charge takes the reigns in hopes of getting all three points on his home debut. Leicester won a hard fought battle in their midweek match against Leeds United 3-1. Goals from Kelechi Iheanacho, Islam Slimani, and the resurgent Riyad Mahrez sealed Leicester’s fate to the next round against Manchester City.
How to Watch
NBC will air this match live on their network, but as always, you can watch the match via their app.
Everton sacked manager Ronald Koeman earlier on in the week due to a very lackluster start following an expensive off-season. Big name signings like Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson were expected to highlight a new beginning to Merseyside, and while things looked bright at first, once their Europa league campaign started, things quickly faded.
The Toffee’s are without a win since September and have been very poor away from home, one loss and one draw. Wayne Rooney is their current leading scorer with five goals so far this season. He had a lengthy go against Chelsea on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup, meaning a well rested Wilfred Ndidi should be able to shut him down.
Unbelievably, Leicester could extend their run to five games unbeaten with a draw or victory this weekend. Given how things have played out around the club over the past few weeks, you’d think they would have been more in a rut, but hopefully it is a sign of better things to come from this somewhat fresh season.
Claude Puel won’t be short of attacking options at Leicester, a situation unfamiliar to him during his first spell in the Premier League. Shoring up the midfield and defense will certainly be one of the first things on his mind, especially from set pieces. A clean sheet against a struggling Everton could go a long way into providing some more confidence to a defense that has been poor at times this season. Set pieces will be crucial to avoid this week because you definitely don’t want to give Gylfi Sigurdsson an opportunity right around the edge of the 18 yard box.
Since returning to the Premier League, these two have faced each other six times and have a dead even record of (2-2-2). I certainly remember Chris Wood’s last goal in City blue opening day of Leicester’s final return to the league.
A triumphant 3-0 thumping of Everton would be a great way to start the Puel era. Given the extra day of rest and couple it with the hype of a new manager and players looking to cement their spot I would be so bold to predict a Shinji Okazaki hat-trick. You never know, crazier things have happened to Leicester.