Verdict: Both teams to score – yes
Leicester City prepare for their first game as Premier League champions, with Everton coming to town for a celebratory party at King Power Stadium. The champagne is ready, but Everton might not share the joyful atmosphere as they still have plenty to fight for the in the remaining round of England’s top tier.
Foxes have been crowned Premier League champions on Monday with Tottenham being held to a 2-2 draw at Chelsea, which means that Foxes now sit at the safe distance with two games to go in the league. Leicester City can now afford to enjoy their formidable success in a season they beat the 5,000/1 odds to be crowned champions. Everton players will form the guard of honour before the match and the trophy will be lifted by team’s captain Wes Morgan after full ninety minutes, so Claudio Ranieri’s men have plenty to think about apart from the game itself. Foxes were eager to finish the job last at Old Trafford as well, but they were held to a 1-1 draw against Manchester United. Still, Foxes remain unbeaten in their last ten matches and it has to be noted that Claudio Ranieri’s men have deserved their title. Top of the table currently with 77 points to their name, Leicester City have gone a great distance to reach the highest heights. The team yielded several unexpected gems this season, with Riyad Mahrez scooping the PFA Player of the Year award to round off his impressive season. Jamie Vardy has broken several records with his impressive scoring exploits and Ranieri will have plenty of problems keeping his team together for another season.
Claudio Ranieri will have his full crop of players to choose from for Saturday’s match, with the exception of Matty James who is suffering from a cruciate ligament rupture and Danny Drinkwater following his red card against Manchester United.
Jamie Vardy returns to action following his ban and is likely to replace the injured Ulloa in the starting line-up, while Jeffrey Schlupp is expected to continue instead of Albrighton.
Toffees can’t wait to for this highly frustrating season to end. Roberto Martinez’s charges got off to a flying start, but their scintillating, attack-oriented performances were quickly undone by poor defending, which cost Everton dearly this term. Roberto Martinez has endured huge pressure in 2016 and in recent weeks in particular with his team recording only two wins in their last ten fixtures across all competitions. The 2-1 win over Bournemouth has improved the situation a bit with Tom Cleverley netting an early goal, before Leighton Baines saved his team in the second half with a clinical shot. The Toffees currently sit in 11th place in the standings and getting the positive result from their visit at King Power Stadium is imperative as there is a huge crowd in the bottom half of the table which means that another loss could see Everton drop further down the ladder. Leicester City have nothing to fight and will head into the game without any pressure which can be a problem for Everton to be honest.
Everton are struggling with a long list of injured players this late in the season and Roberto Martinez is facing a selection headache ahead of the trip to Leicester.
Gerard Deulofeu, Phil Jagielka, Tyias Browning are confirmed absentees, while Gareth Barry and Seamus Coleman are doubts.
Key Factors to Consider
- Leicester City have lost only 2 of their last 15 matches
- Jamie Vardy has so far scored 22 Premier League goals
- Foxes won 6 of their last 10 home fixtures
- There have been over 3.5 goals scored in last three meetings between two sides
- Everton failed to win their last 4 matches on the road
Leicester City will be celebrating their title and their guard will be down, which can be Everton’s chance on getting close to scoring and recording a much needed win. Ranieri’s men will however be eager to close the season on a high and goals might be a better option in this particular match.
Verdict: Both teams to score – yes