Everton and Leicester are slated to meet in the quarter-finals of EFL Cup this Wednesday, December 18, at Goodison Park in what promises to be an exciting fixture between the high-flying Leicester and Toffees who have improved as of late and will look to impress their home fans.
Here we will look at betting options, odds and hand out our prediction on how we believe this fixture will end. If you’re looking for more free sports predictions head over to picks.org.
Everton surge in form
It’s hard to praise Everton too much for what they have achieved this term, seeing how they are approaching the second half of 2019/20 EPL season with a 5-3-9 record and only 18 points to their name, which sits them at the 16th place in the league. The streak of poor results ultimately lead to the sacking of Marco Silva after 18 months in charge and replaced him with Duncan Ferguson who has been serving as an interim head coach for Everton’s last two fixtures.
Much like it’s the case with most changes of the coaching staff, Everton started to approach their games with a different style and it seems like the appointment of Duncan Ferguson as their new head coach affected Toffees in a very positive way. Following a streak of three defeats against Norwich (0:2), Leicester (1:2) and Liverpool (2:5), Everton resurged and claimed two impressive results. Since Ferguson took charge, Everton already defeated Chelsea (3:1) and even chipped a point off Manchester United (1:1) at Old Trafford, which suggests Everton have found their stride and will look to keep their fire strong going forward.
While it’s true Everton remain very much in the relegation battle, considering they are only three points above the line, their recent surge in form suggests they are capable of great things and as in great things, we are talking about silverware.
If there is one person who knows very well Everton fans crave silverware it’s Ferguson, who was a part of Everton’s team which won FA Cup in 1995. With EPL title way out of their reach, Everton’s only real chance of claiming silverware this season is EFL Cup. With that in mind, we can expect Everton to go against the current and do their best to win here, unlike most other teams, which don’t rank the trophy too highly. For that reason we expect Ferguson to not make any changes to his team, meaning he will field the best men he can.
However, he may not have a lot of choices either, seeing how Walcott and Schneiderlin both missed the match against Manchester United with calf injuries, while Digne limped off the pitch early. On a more positive note, Djibril Sidibe and Gylfi Sigurdsson are both expected to return.
Leicester looking to preserve energy
Leicester have been just phenomenal this season and while they are still 10 points short of reaching to Liverpool in the EPL standings, Brendan Rodgers‘ men deserve all the praise they can get for their performances so far. As it stands now, Leicester are holding onto a 12-3-2 record and 39 points, which sits them at the second place in EPL.
Looking back, Leicester are unbeaten in their last 10 fixtures across all competitions, during which they claimed nine wins and only one draw. That being said, that sole draw came against Norwich (1:1) in round 17 of EPL, which was a poor result, to say the least. Every team can have their moments of weakness which is why we would not put too much weight on that loss, as Leicester are still a solid team which will bounce back in no time. Talking about bouncing back, Foxes’ next two league fixtures are Manchester City (away) and Liverpool (home), which will truly test their strength, stamina and overall quality.
Seeing how Leicester have two incredibly tough and important fixtures ahead of them, that does raise a question whether the Foxes will go all out here to secure a spot in the semi-finals of EFL or turn their attention to EPL, where they will look for a solid top-four finish. As we see it, Rodgers will look to make a statement in EPL rather than go all out against Everton, which leads us to believe he won’t take any chances here and rest his star players, who need to be 100% ready for the tough schedule ahead.
Leicester and Everton already met at the start of December, when Leicester edged past Toffees (2:1) at King Power Stadium thanks to Iheanacho’s goal in 94th minute of the game. While meeting with a team that already defeated you less than three weeks ago fails to inspire much confidence things will change this time out, Everton have significantly improved since and if they will ever be ready to avenge their loss to Leicester it’s now.
As we see it, Everton look to be very confident, and rightfully so, considering they already bested Chelsea and pushed Manchester United to their limits at Old Trafford. With a new coach, new ambitions and most importantly, new influx of motivation, Everton will be ready to make their home crowd proud and considering they are facing Leicester who we don’t expect to field any of their star players, Everton are in our eyes a great bet here.
Prediction: Everton to win – Odds: 2.87 Bet365
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