Everton vs Leicester City preview: Toffees searching for late Christmas present with Boxing day win

Everton vs Leicester City preview: Toffees searching for late Christmas present with Boxing day win

A preview of Everton’s boxing day trip to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City.

Connor Bennett

Everton make the trip to the King Power Stadium to take on the defending Premier League champions, Leicester City. The Blues were on the end of a 3-1 thrashing at the King Power last season, as the Foxes lifted the league trophy but will be hoping for a vastly different result this time out. 

Ronald Koeman’s side have the chance to catch the Foxes cold as they enter this game shorthanded - they’ll be without Christian Fuchs, Robert Huth and Jamie Vardy. 

It’ll be the first meeting between the two sides in a two weeks period as they meet again in the FA Cup third round at Goodison Park on January 7th.

Picking up festive momentum 

The festive period offers teams a great chance to pick up a head of steam and make a charge up the table. Little time between games, with three or four fixtures tightly packed together, it can make or break a season. 

In recent years, Everton have capitalised on this and turned their season around. The 2-1 win over Arsenal looked to be the start of this years shot in the arm of momentum but the Blues faltered in the Merseyside Derby last time out. 

Koeman’s side huffed and puffed but Liverpool weathered the initial storm. It’s been the same old story for Everton on a number of occasions this season and it’s something they’ll be looking to rectify as the January transfer window quickly approaches. 

The trip to the King Power won’t be easy for the Toffees but it’s a game they need to pick up points in. 

A look at the opposition - Leicester City

Leicester City’s Premier League title-winning season was a fairytale but this campaign has been far from that so far. The Foxes are going well in the Champions League and will meet Sevilla in the knockout stages after topping their group but they have been unable to translate that form into their domestic league. 

The hosts have won just 17 points from their 17 games this season, half of what they had at this point last season when they lifted the title and it doesn’t get any easier for them this week. The Foxes will be without key players in Jamie Vardy, Robert Huth and Christian Fuchs after they all picked up suspensions against Stoke City last time out. 

Claudio Ranieri's side will be looking for their first Boxing Day win in the top-flight since 1998 and their fifth win of the season against a vulnerable Everton team.

Probable teams and injury report

Maarten Stekelenburg is doubtful for the Boxing Day trip while Everton will be without James McCarthy for two to three weeks after he picked up a hamstring injury during the Merseyside Derby with Liverpool last Monday. 

Jamie Vardy, Robert Huth and Christian Fuchs are all suspended for the Foxes after picking up bookings against Stoke City. 

Danny Drinkwater faces a late fitness test for the hosts after he returned to training this week but is likely to play from the start. 

Likely Everton line-up: Robles, Coleman, Funes Mori, Williams, Baines, Gana Gueye, Barry (C), Lennon, Barkley, Mirallas and Lukaku

Likely Leicester City line-up: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Hernandez, Chilwell, Amartey, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Mahrez, Silmani and Okazaki

Matchday stats:

  1. Everton are unbeaten in their last four Premier League away games on Boxing Day - 2 wins and 2 draws.
  2. Leicester have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 10 Premier League games. 
  3. Everton have not won away to Leicester since a 1-0 victory in December 1997.