Everton vs Leicester City

Tuesday, 30 June, 2020 103comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Yerry Mina is available again after recovering from a thigh problem

Everton's third fixture since the resumption of the Premier League sees them take on Leicester City at Goodison Park in another Wednesday evening kick-off.

The Foxes have been cleared to travel despite the government-imposed lockdown of the city of Leicester in the face of surging positive tests for coronavirus but doubts were briefly raised — since dismissed — over their ability to host their remaining home games at the King Power Stadium.

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has declared that all non-essential shops in the city must close from today, as well as most schools. He has warned local residents to stay at home and avoid all but non-essential travel in a bid to prevent a further spike of infections.

Brendan Rodgers's men come into the game still sitting in third, albeit with their sizeable points cushion down to just one point, and they are just three points above Wolves in sixth. That threat to their Champions League hopes should provide Leicester with plenty of incentive as they look to beat Everton for the third time this season.

They came from behind at the King Power at the start of December in a match that looked at one stage as though it might have saved Marco Silva's job until Kelechi Iheanacho popped up with an injury-time winner. Five days later, following an awful 5-2 defeat at Anfield, the Portuguese was gone.

His interim successor, Duncan Ferguson, almost oversaw a rousing comeback from 2-0 down in the League Cup when a missile from Leighton Baines forced a penalty shootout but Leicester prevailed in that quarter-final tie.

With Carlo Ancelotti at the helm now and having picked up their first win in five games with a 1-0 triumph at Carrow Road last week, Everton are looking to try and keep in touch with a top six that is feeling more and more un-catchable as the likes of Wolves and Manchester United continue to pick up points.

A win for Ancelotti's men could put them back into the top half again should Arsenal lose at home to Norwich but eight points adrift of Wolves with six games to play. Increasingly, it's a case of fine-tuning for next season which is likely to come hot on the heels of this protracted 2019-20 campaign, although the outcome of Manchester City's appeal against a two-year ban from European competition could mean the Europa League remains in reach for the Blues if they can put together a run of results.

Having had just two fit senior centre-halves for the past two matches, Ancelotti has been boosted by the return to full fitness of Yerry Mina. The Italian announced during his pre-match press conference that the Colombian is the only one of his injured players available again after overcoming a thigh strain that proved to be less serious than first reported.

"Fabian Delph is still injured,” Ancelotti explained. “He is doing individual treatment and training. I don't know exactly when he will recover fully.

"Djibril Sidibé will be back in training on Friday and Theo [Walcott] on Monday.”

Ancelotti has shown a willingness to rotate players, particularly during heavy periods of fixtures like this one that will see Everton play three games in eight days, but whether Mina starts remains to be seen. Certainly, he is a shoo-in to feature at some point with the expanded allowance of substitutes but his manager might not want to rush him straight back into the starting XI.

In terms of changes to last week's team, Gylfi Sigurdsson could come into midfield to replace the struggling Tom Davies but few alterations are expected. There may be more opportunities for young players from the Under-23s setup to make the matchday squad as well.

Kick-off: 6pm, Wednesday 1 July 2020
Referee: David Coote
VAR: Craig Pawson
Last Time: Everton 0 - 1 Leicester City

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (103)

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Danny Baily
1 Posted 29/06/2020 at 21:20:35
I mentioned a while back on the Liverpool thread that Wednesday's match might be at risk of postponement due to the situation in Leicester. Anyone have any updates?
Chris Leyland
2 Posted 29/06/2020 at 21:22:54
Danny - that's said all but essential travel is a banned from Leicester. Hard to see how they can class a football game as essential travel?
Brent Stephens
3 Posted 29/06/2020 at 21:24:23
Danny, the first thing Matt Hancock said when he rose to address the Commons a short while ago was that “Everton's game with Leicester would proceed” - and “Liverpool are shite”.

Honest. It'll be in Hansard tomorrow.

Neil Copeland
4 Posted 29/06/2020 at 22:13:14
Are Leicester City running a high risk by coming to the city? I know there is talk of the risks that they bring with them but seems it may work both ways to me.
Jerome Shields
5 Posted 30/06/2020 at 08:14:14
Just had an internet faux pas. . . Arsenal vs Everton came up as the top article. I could not Iunderstand how I had missed the game? Familiar questions abounded. Then discovered that it was the February game.

It was a good reminder of the Everton's problems throughout the team. I hope Keane keeps partnering Holgate; Mina out of position on the turn is something I don't want to see. Glad Schneiderlin is gone. We have improved in defence and midfield, on the last second-half performance, but I still have doubts about are forwards ability to finish, particularly Calvert-Lewin.

The truth is, we are players short of a team that can challenge at the highest levels, even with Ancelotti.

Just realised our next game is Leicester tomorrow. , Another drama. I do feel sorry for the people of Leicester, the psychological impact of realising that you are back to square one must be very depressing. The East Midlands has been hit hard over this last 15 years as it is. My thoughts are with them.

Derek Taylor
6 Posted 30/06/2020 at 08:54:18
With Leicester locked down and their County Cricket club having to wait until 1st August to play even a friendly, how come Leicester City FC are free to travel and play all over the country?
Bobby Mallon
7 Posted 30/06/2020 at 09:05:42
Let's just get on with the Leicester game, shall we?
Mick Conalty
8 Posted 30/06/2020 at 11:42:49
If there is a spike with coronavirus on Merseyside, then the R/S gatherers can blame it on Leicester.
Derek Taylor
9 Posted 30/06/2020 at 11:46:18
Rather blase, that, Bobby. Guess you are one of those who couldn't give a toss about the pandemic (as long as you don't get it!). A few fellow thinkers were out in force on Friday evening, I hear!
Kevin Prytherch
10 Posted 30/06/2020 at 12:19:08
All footballers are getting tested every week, so I guess that, if none of them have it, it will be safe.

The rest of the population don't have that luxury.

James Story
11 Posted 30/06/2020 at 12:28:16
I'd be surprised if any of the Leicester players actually live in the city so the lockdown possibly isn't relevant to them.
Bobby Mallon
12 Posted 30/06/2020 at 12:39:20
Derek Taylor @9. That post was posted on the Paul Halligan thread not for this one, so get off your soap box, you don't know me and what myself and family and friends have put up with through the pandemic and don't try and make me out to be a gobshite Liverpool fan. Cheek of it.
Tamhas Woods
13 Posted 30/06/2020 at 12:54:16
LFC and the red media have finally got what they wanted. Now can we "null and void" until late August/early Sept?

VAR, Covid-19, Hawkeye..... It's time to end this sham of a season once and for all.

Mike Allison
14 Posted 30/06/2020 at 13:03:18
Footballers are being kept ‘bubbled' and regularly tested aren't they? If both are true then this game has little to no additional risk surely?

On the bigger issue, I'm one who firmly believes that a season has to be finished. To not do so is to destroy the integrity of the competition, the sporting equivalent of the ‘it was all a dream' storyline.

As for ‘caring' about the pandemic, football is providing some welcome relief, albeit in a limited form. We've already missed out on so much, why can't we have a month of free-to-air football to keep us going for a bit?

Derek Knox
15 Posted 30/06/2020 at 13:18:57
I wouldn't put any credence in that dithering prick Matt Hancock, (the latter portion of his name is so appropriate) or anything he says. He has hesitated so many times and changed his tack midstream, when asked by journalists to explain.

He's the Health Minister? God Help Us all! Judging by what I've seen and heard on the news today, I would imagine that all those in the squad (Leicester) have presumably been regularly tested and recently, so would be surprised if they did cancel the game.

Hoping for a win as usual, we need all the possible points from now on in, if we have any chance at all of squeezing a Euro spot, but on reflection too many wasted points early season have come back to haunt us.

Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 30/06/2020 at 13:37:57
I think this could become the new normality for quite a long time, with different places constantly getting locked down, and only then if we are lucky, unfortunately.

I never thought I'd say I can't wait to get back to the football, but I suppose the sooner the season finishes the better, even if it doesn't look like we will be able to move forward for quite a while, with this dreaded virus in the air.

Minik Hansen
17 Posted 30/06/2020 at 13:42:13
Derek, hence do I dare to say his name, Silva was sacked. I don't know how unlucky he was, but it's not down to all luck and un-luck.

Here's for Ancelotti. Looking forward to how he can bounce back (though it was a win) from the Norwich game.

Steve Ferns
18 Posted 30/06/2020 at 13:45:23
I think Europe is a bit fanciful. Sure it's where we should aim, but take it a game at a time. Right now we are embarrassingly in 12th. Our first aim must be to get back into the top 10, and then we must ensure we are above Sheff Utd, Burnley and Palace. As again, it's embarrassing. We should be able to do that with the fixtures remaining.

As for Europe, Wolves are going well and it seems like we'd need to get ahead of Arsenal and Spurs to even get 7th. I ain't getting my hopes up too much on that.

Craig Walker
19 Posted 30/06/2020 at 14:06:41
My prediction is that Rodgers will be telling his Leicester players to show great character.
Alan J Thompson
20 Posted 30/06/2020 at 14:13:53
Now come on, lads, hasn't Boris said that it's just the fat players we have to stop from boarding the bus? I won't be expecting any show of concern until all the TV money has been worked off.
Bill Watson
21 Posted 30/06/2020 at 14:31:10
Mike # 14

I think the Premier League lost the little integrity it had when it put money before health. Playing behind closed doors is a complete farce.

Danny Baily
22 Posted 30/06/2020 at 14:31:24
An article in the Guardian appears to have cleared things up. Looks like tomorrow's match will go ahead as planned.

Leicester's home games will either be postponed or moved to a neutral venue.

This was anticipated as part of the PL's contingency planning but won't work if multiple areas are affected.

Tony Everan
23 Posted 30/06/2020 at 14:48:30
About a month ago a friend's husband was in Leicester and said he couldn't believe what he was seeing. He was saying that in the area he was in that social distancing was virtually non-existent, he said back then he wouldn't be returning for a while. Some people are just refusing to take it seriously and now a whole city is going to suffer big health and economic damage because of it.
Kevin Molloy
24 Posted 30/06/2020 at 14:54:05
Steve yes I agree it is embarrassing. Our form with Carlo puts us in fifth place, unfortunately he's stuck with the other guy's start.
Michael Kenrick
25 Posted 30/06/2020 at 14:58:49
Bill @21, I disagree with this view, and I think I've said it before already but they are doing what they need to do as football clubs and as football players – quite simply playing the game. After all, that is why they are are in existence for at all; and it's an important development moving us forward out of the dire days of lockdown and back to something closer to normality.

These are exceptional circumstances and the game is not the same when played behind closed doors. We all know that... but 'needs must', as they say. It's not the same but it is hardly a total farce, as you call it. Most of the rules and the basic objective of the game remain the same.

I just find it odd that football fans, of all people, are voicing the desire not to have their game back. Where's the logic in that?

And even more odd that, when all the games are provided for us free on TV or online, some avert your eyes and refuse to watch!!! That has to be the oddest of odd post-Covid behaviour... but perhaps the virus has hidden side-effects yet to be revealed by modern science!!!

Jay Harris
26 Posted 30/06/2020 at 15:04:03
Steve I did a couple of predictions as you did earlier in the season.

One was hugely optimistic which saw us finish 7th, one was IMO realistic which saw us finish 10th.

It would take poor form by Palace, Burnley, Spurs and Arsenal to get us up there but I think Man U, Sheff Utd and Wolves are too far ahead of the pack for us to catch.

All we can do is take it game by game starting with a win against Leicester.

Carl Manning
27 Posted 30/06/2020 at 15:24:02
Bill, Spain,portugal, Germany and Italy are also playing behind doors. The premier league isn't the only one!
John Raftery
28 Posted 30/06/2020 at 15:25:59
Football players and coaching/medical staff have been operating in a bubble and subject to regular testing. A race meeting at Leicester has gone ahead today behind closed doors. People are being allowed to travel in and out of the city. This local lockdown is not a complete shutdown by any stretch of the imagination.

The only issue for Leicester City FC and the authorities is whether or not their remaining home games are switched to a neutral venue. If they continue playing matches at the King Power there is an obvious risk that the requirement for local support staff such as security personnel will lead to an increased spread of the virus.

As for the game itself our players have had a full week since their last game. Leicester have had only three days to recover from their defeat against Chelsea. They have not been in great form since the restart so our team should see this as an opportunity beat a top four team.

Tony Everan
29 Posted 30/06/2020 at 15:29:23
Michael 25, It is called 12th place syndrome. If we were in Wolves' position, hot on the heels of Chelsea and Leicester and charging for a Champions League spot, I'm sure all would be champing at the bit for us play and qualify.
Jack Convery
30 Posted 30/06/2020 at 15:42:39
Were is the integrity when MU used 6 subs - yes 6 subs in the cup game at Norwich. Its not the same competition when rules are changed. Farce.

My thoughts are with the NHS staff, who have worked tirelessly for months now and face the prospect of it happening all over again. God protect them.

Jerome Shields
31 Posted 30/06/2020 at 15:59:54
Hopefully Everton can build on the pluses of defence and midfield we have seen in the last two games.

In professional football ;

to just miss is not good enough, because it gives possession to the other team.

to not have shots on targets gives the opposition goal keeper and defence confidence.

to have good positioning and chances and not be able to finish has the same effect.

to not have ingrained accuracy in shooting ability, is below the level of most Premier League Clubs consistent goal scorers.

It's about time Everton forwards starting hitting the mark.

Jim Bennings
32 Posted 30/06/2020 at 16:13:38
If every Leicester player and official tests negative then why cancel the match?

If you cancel it and they are all negative then it begs the question what's the point in the tests if when you test negative you still are not allowed to live a normal life?

Patrick McFarlane
33 Posted 30/06/2020 at 16:42:50
Just read parts of Carlo's pre-match press conference and two things to take from it, when asked about why he released Luke Garbutt after eleven years at Everton, Carlo replied "Who?".

The other point and I'm not sure what the questioner expected from askng Carlo what did he think of the other lots celebrations he replied "I think honestly this is not my problem. I am a person that tried to respect the rules, I understand that after 30 years the celebrations could be normal."

What exactly have the other lots celebrations got to do with any manager other than their own? never mind the Everton manager.

Brian Harrison
34 Posted 30/06/2020 at 16:44:35
I don't know if its already been mentioned, but a couple of hours ago Alan Myers who can be 100% trusted posted this tweet. Richard Masters the Premier League CEO says now Liverpool are Champions even if the season is curtailed we will have to come to some sort of an agreement on what model may be used regarding relegation. He added Liverpool are now OUR Champions, so we don't have to worry about that.

So as long as Liverpool are now crowned Champions nothing else matters.

Rob Halligan
35 Posted 30/06/2020 at 16:52:42
Jack, # 30. New rules states that an extra sub can be used in a cup games but only If the game goes into extra time. Under normal circumstances, that would be the usual three, then an additional fourth in extra time. Currently, we can use five subs in a game, therefore a sixth could be used in the cup, but only in extra time. Hope that makes sense.
Jay Wood

36 Posted 30/06/2020 at 17:01:10
Here's Carlo's presser.

Worth watching just for his reaction to the Luke Garbutt question, just past the 6 minute mark.


Carlo pre-Leicester Presser

Ajay Gopal
37 Posted 30/06/2020 at 17:24:09
According to Carlo, only Mina is available out of the injured lot, but I don't see him displacing either Keane or Holgate, unless Carlo wants to try out a back 3. Or maybe push Holgate into a central midfield role as he has done in the past.

My predicted XI for tomorrow:

Coleman Holgate Keane Digne
Iwobi Siggy Gomes Gordon
Calvert-Lewin Richarlison

SUBS: Virginia, Mina, Baines, Sidibe, Davies, Beni, Bernard, Simms, Adeniran

Tony Everan
38 Posted 30/06/2020 at 17:30:00
Jay , thanks for the link

Enjoyed that look......“Who the fuck is that?”

I am deaf so it's always subtitles for me, they come up with some good ones ; they referred to Luke Garber and Mason Holidays

Minik Hansen
39 Posted 30/06/2020 at 17:41:23
What must Carlo have thought, Luke Garbutt, is he any good, could I have used him??? lol.

It's the games like Brighton at home v. MU, that gives good hope for table climbing. Come on, Duffy & co.

Julian Exshaw
40 Posted 30/06/2020 at 18:05:03
How embarrassing that whole Luke Garbutt incident!!! I suppose you can't expect Carlo to know the whole squad, can you? Poor Luke. I thought he was ok. Whatever happened to him? Anyway, good luck to the lad.
John Raftery
41 Posted 30/06/2020 at 18:07:51
So on the very last day of his ludicrous five year contract 27 year old Luke Garbutt is a name not recognised by the current Everton manager. That is hardly surprising because in the five years of that contract the player has made no Everton first team appearances whatsoever. I doubt Koeman, Allardyce and Silva would have had Luke on their radar at any time as he journeyed his way around several clubs in the lower leagues without ever pressing his case for a return to our first team. In fact he did the opposite.

The banality of some of the media questions beggars belief at times.

Patrick McFarlane
42 Posted 30/06/2020 at 18:11:22
Luciano Garbetti is expected to be in the squad for tomorrow, once the staff at Finch Farm can find him.
Kristian Boyce
43 Posted 30/06/2020 at 18:38:08
Garbutt's only been here 9 years not 11 like the interviewer asked, so that might have been the confusion for Carlo 😂

Sky's now reporting that the game could be postponed. Them and the Beeb have their champions now, so I can see a solid attempt from the media to end the season now for ‘safety' concerns.

Jerome Shields
44 Posted 30/06/2020 at 18:55:06
Luke Garbutt and many other players who are out on loan must be in a proverbial no mans land. It must be the case that most are put out on loan in the hope that some Club may take them on permanently, many must be out of the reckoning as far as their Everton career is concerned. Out of sight out of mind.

Why was Luke given a five year contract ?

Is no one actually appraising players to increase their value to the Club as a player or as a Transfer? It appears the only time they are appraised is on ToffeeWeb. There must be no policy in developing players from within Everton. Most of us would have thought that Luke could have been worked on. Now it looks as if we could brief Ancelotti on his progress and actually tell him who he is,

It just shows what a waste of time and money it would be to buy the glossy Evertion Magazine, if it is anything like the old newprint version. It use to keep fans informed on fringe players and how they where getting on

Thanks Jay for highlighting the Link and Luke reference.

Good Luck Luke.

Patrick McFarlane
45 Posted 30/06/2020 at 19:00:25
Jerome #44
The glossy Evertonian Magazine stopped being produced a good while ago.
Brian Wilkinson
46 Posted 30/06/2020 at 19:46:29
Mick@8, I would have a good laugh at your comment, sadly you are spot on mate.
Brian Wilkinson
47 Posted 30/06/2020 at 19:53:48
Tamhas@13, I have a couple of Reds mates on social media who were screaming for no null and void and we have to finish the season.

The Day after City's game they are now saying the title is decided may as well end the season now, no regard for any of the other teams, they have got what they wanted.

No regard for the 3000 Spanish fans attending their stadium, no regards of the mass celebrations by the pier head.

Is it any wonder so many opposing fans dislike anything Redshite.

Darren Hind
48 Posted 30/06/2020 at 20:19:53
31/20 is the price on offer for us to win this one - 6/4 if you have an account with a gimmick free bookie.

Worth a go ?

The odds seem skinny when you think that their midfield is so vastly superior to ours. They have a goalie who can be world class and they have a striker who is likely to burst into form at the drop of a hat.
Doesnt look a compelling case on paper and I certainly wont be lumping on... but I have this feeling we might just find a way in this one.

Ancelotti has discovered that the likes of Keane is much, much better defending deep. The less grass behind him the better.

I just don't think we will play Leicester's game. Are they as good when you make them play in front of you ? I dont think so... But I still hope Carlo has the courage to engage in a little You play/We play.


John Raftery
49 Posted 30/06/2020 at 20:43:24
Kristian (43) The only question is about where Leicester will play their home games. Tomorrow's match is not in any doubt.
Darren Hind
50 Posted 30/06/2020 at 21:09:40
The rest of their fixtures are not our business to be fair John
Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 30/06/2020 at 21:18:49
They really exploited our four man midfield in the cup-tie, until we started playing with more aggression, so it will be interesting to see how we go tomorrow without the crowd.
Tony Everan
52 Posted 30/06/2020 at 21:47:18
I wouldn't be lumping too much on at 6/4, as the game looks very tight. There's reasons for optimism though and it will be great game to see how we are progressing on all fronts.

In attack I want to to see Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin giving Jonny Evans and Soyuco(?) a hard time, they are a decent combination it will be a good test for our two strikers to work together and create. Our younger lads have a yard of extra pace on either of them two and can expose them and force mistakes.

Sigurdsson will probably start central midfield, how that partnership with Gomes performs will go a long way to determining the result. Passing must be more accurate – any of the recent sloppiness in possession will see lightning counter-attacks come from it.

Can Iwobi continue to get involved more like last week and have an influence? I've got some faith in him to continue to improve with the bit more confidence he will have after Norwich.

Our defence has been solid, can Holgate and Keane build on their two clean sheets. They seem to be playing for each other and Keane has found a new bromance now Kurt has moved out.

I think we can get a narrow win because of our strengths elsewhere, but in the central midfield areas it will be tough for us.

Everton 2 Leicester 1

Hugh Jenkins
53 Posted 30/06/2020 at 22:17:41
Given the questions asked at Carlo's press conference about Luke Garbutt and the RS "celebrations", I sometimes wonder if these so called "journalists" deliberately set their questions to try and embarrass the recipient?

I mean, what sort of answer could Carlos have given about Garbutt - even had he known who he was?

"I let him go because he was useless and wouldn't get into my team in a month of Sundays".

Or what about the RS "celebrations"?

" I think they are despicable, the scum of the earth for endangering everyone by ignoring the government guidelines."

You can imagine how honest answers to those questions would have played out in the wider world.

Why bother to ask such obviously loaded questions - other than to try to show the recipient in a bad light?

Steve Ferns
54 Posted 30/06/2020 at 22:46:53
Michael #25, having the game back means me being in the stadium, in my seat watching Everton. Until that can happen, I don't want to make do watching Everton on TV. Sorry but I hate it.

Not just Everton either, every single game I've seen has been utter shite. It's worse than watching amateur football. This is a complete farce and I don't like it. It serves no purpose.

As for helping the community out of lockdown, I think the opposite. Football being back, combined with Dominic Cummings and goings, has helped send a message that the lockdown isn't something we really need to do anymore. It's no surprise that large swathes of the population are sticking two fingers up at it and going to the beach, or a protest, or getting pissed and causing mayhem at the Pier Head in the name of “celebration”.

If football wasn't back, and I include the three or four weeks of pre-resumption training in this, then I doubt there would have as been as many breaking the lockdown.

So no, football is definitely back far too soon for me.

Bill Gall
55 Posted 30/06/2020 at 22:50:16
Looking forward to this game, and as it has been said these next 2 games is going to determine our chances of playing in Europe, and tomorrows display will show if Everton are up for it.

As the transfer window opens soon there was one observation I made knowing how we need to strengthen our midfield, it was the improvement in the Man / Utd team with the purchase of a marquee midfielder.

Christy Ring
56 Posted 30/06/2020 at 22:51:00
Leicester have a physical presence in midfield, alongside Maddison if he's fit, and I hope we don't start Sigurdsson, he isn't strong enough, and definitely cannot tackle.
Sam Hoare
57 Posted 30/06/2020 at 22:56:14
In other news Kieran Dowell scores his first goal on loan at Wigan tonight. Think he's started every game since the restart. I wonder if Carlo will take a look at him in the summer.
Steve Ferns
58 Posted 30/06/2020 at 23:00:21
He was a gamble Bill. I've seen him play quite often and I'm amazed at the step up that Bruno has made. Sporting was built around him. The midfield constructed to cover his flaws and make use of his strengths. Man Utd were never going to do that, so I thought he would be exposed.

The only thing I would say is that teams aren't prevent him from shooting just yet. Next season they will be better at blocking the shot off and then we'll see how he adapts.

Jay Wood

59 Posted 30/06/2020 at 23:12:09
Sam @ 57.

Dowell's deep cross that led to the opening goal has been put down as an own goal and bad cock up by the keeper Butland.

Injured on first arriving at Wigan in January followed by the shutdown, he is now getting game time.

Possibly Carlo Ancelotti has come too late to revive Kieran's career at Everton, but who knows?

Like most, the Italian will be impressed by Kieran's innate football skills and possibly wonder if he could coax something out of him to the benefit of the first team.

His ability and skill sets have never been in doubt. It is the application and appetite for the fight that prevents the lad from having a stellar career.

I would be delighted if Carlo could throw the switch on Kieran Dowell to illuminate us all.

Rob Young
60 Posted 30/06/2020 at 23:23:40
Christy 56,

If not Sigurdsson then who would you pick?

Gomes can't tackle, Davies doesn't tackle, Delph is a knob and injured...

If Mina is fit, I'd like to see Holgate in midfield or I'd actually try Baningame but surely neither will happen. So, that leaves Sigurdsson for me.

Jerome Shields
61 Posted 30/06/2020 at 23:26:34
Patrick #45,

Probably nobody was buying it or more likely no-one had the knowledge to put anything in it.

The old Evertonian newsprint was very informative.

John Keating
62 Posted 01/07/2020 at 00:16:38
Michael 25,

Sorry, I too must be suffering from a side-effect. I haven't watched any game from anywhere since starting up again.

I tried the first 10 minutes of Schalke v Dortmund and thought it ridiculous. I saw the over-the-line Sheffield Utd goal on the news but that's been it.

Truthfully I have not missed the footy at all.

Bill Watson
63 Posted 01/07/2020 at 01:52:19
Michael #25,

The only games I've watched are our two and they reminded me of those pre-season Everton Probables v Everton Possibles games from long ago, although those games probably had more passion and intensity.

I didn't bother watching any other games on TV after listening to the first 20 minutes radio commentary of the first game (I can't even recall who was playing). It was only the first 20 minutes because it was so artificial and boring I turned the radio off and did some weeding instead.

The dubbed crowd noises make it even worse and remind me of those awful sit coms where a limp joke is greeted by hilarious canned audience laughter.

I go to all our games, home and away, but can't summon up any enthusiasm at all for these games. I'll be watching, later tonight, but I'm not looking forward to the game as I normally would.

I've been watching Everton since 1958 and never thought anything would dilute my enthusiasm for the game; I was wrong.

Jerome Shields
64 Posted 01/07/2020 at 03:54:32
Christy #56,

The midfield is where this game will be won and lost. Leicester always target Gomes and Sigurdsson and pressurised them with success in the second half. Both players are vulnerable to pressure. Gomes gives away the ball and Sigurdsson becomes anonymous. They will channel Davies knowing that he will lose possession. Their defence will attempt to push up into midfield also pinning the Everton wingers and defenders back, especially if they can dominate in midfield.

Everton need to do the same in support of the midfield and need to be able to defend on the turn, given Leicester speed of attack. Above all, Everton's forwards need to be on target and taking chances to pin them back. Giving away possession and shooting wide will only give them confidence to implement their tactics.

This is why Leicester have had recent success against Everton. Everton have improved at the back and on the last second-half performance in midfield. If midfield play as they did in the last first-half performance, and continue to have a blunt attack that success will continue for Leicester.

Bob Parrington
65 Posted 01/07/2020 at 07:17:05
I can understand the guys and gals, who actually go to the grounds on match days, not getting satisfaction from watching games played behind closed doors on a TV or computer screen.

Also, for the many supporters like me, living overseas, who can only attend perhaps one or two games every couple of years, watching on TV/Computer is our only option. Hence, it is good to be watching the games for us albeit the atmosphere is severely lacking. I watch on Optus Sport in Australia. Frankly, I think they're doing a pretty good job of it. One negative, though, is the over use of Ex RS players for various opinions and commentary.

Darren Hind
66 Posted 01/07/2020 at 08:02:55
I'm not sure Leicester do target particular players against us.

They have a really good balance of pace power and energy in their midfield and they high press everyone. Thats how Brenda wants his teams to play. He really fell on his feet with this midfield.

In comparison our midfield have little or no options. The wide players are given defensive briefs and the forwards are miles away. Whoever plays in our midfield tonight will be caught in possession
For years we have isolated the man on the ball. Thats because we sacrifice our options by playing cowardly football which is primarily designed to stop the opposition..

Leicester won the league a couple of seasons ago by allowing opposition possession and hitting them with lightening fast counter attacks. Thats fine if you have the players to do it.
Times have changed and the one thing I would predict with confidence is that they will have more of the ball than we do tonight.


Dominic cummings responsible for people breaking social distance rules ?..Really ?

He may be a disagreeable little twat who broke some the rules he created, but social distancing wasnt one of them.. Lets not go all Piers Morgan and give millions of idiots a ready made excuse for mass gathering.

Jerome Shields
67 Posted 01/07/2020 at 08:04:45
Bill #63

The only games I watch are Evertons. Watching the game and see the analysis on ToffeeWeb unfold keeps me interested. I just can't watch any other teams after 5 minutes.

I suspect other fans would have difficulty watching Everton. Coming to think of it, it's no different than watching normally. It would be different for people who are able to attend matches regularly.

Darren Hind
68 Posted 01/07/2020 at 09:15:41
Tom Davies on Talk sport right now
Christy Ring
69 Posted 01/07/2020 at 10:04:07
Rob @60, Keane and Holgate are really gelling at the back, but if Mina is fit, Holgate is our only option, as a defensive midfielder, would love to see Beni Baningime given a chance, but can't see it happening.

We struggled against Norwich in the middle of the park, and Leicester are way stronger. If he doesn't change it, still prefer Davies to Sigurdsson in midfield any day, he made a few mistakes the last day, but never stopped showing for the ball, won't shy away. Siggy has no work rate, can't tackle, and when the going gets tough, shys away.

A strong holding, defensive midfielder has to be our No 1 target this summer.

Jerome Shields
70 Posted 01/07/2020 at 10:07:59
Christy #69,

Holgate is the best option, especially against Leicester's tactics. They have done Everton twice with exactly the same tactics.

Sam Hoare
71 Posted 01/07/2020 at 10:13:34
What I'd give for an Ndidi. Had hoped Gbamin might be that player. Perhaps he still will though the odds are against him now with two huge injuries.

Like others I worry that Gomes and Siggurddsson (the slowest midfield in the league?) would be overrun by Leicester's more dynamic offering. Sadly Tom Davies offers more energy but not alot more efficacy and he actually makes less tackles per game than the Icelander.

Either way I think we will need to sit back and play a direct, counter-attacking game. Hopefully we stay calm and don't give away silly free kicks as I could well see a set piece being decisive and its an area we have improved in remarkably since Ancelotti (and, crucially in this regard, his son) came in.

I'd be tempted to plump for Gordon over Bernard as I expect his pace and superior physical presence could be more useful.

Eddie Dunn
72 Posted 01/07/2020 at 11:00:55
I saw a bit of Leicester vs Chelsea in the FA Cup and thought the Foxes missed Maddison and Brenda suggested that he was unlikely to feature at Goodison.

Vardy has suffered from Leicester's change in style – they are playing more like Rodgers's Swansea and Liverpool teams. He always seems to score against us though.

I simply can't see us scoring against their defence. 0-0.

Raymond Fox
73 Posted 01/07/2020 at 11:12:42
Our midfield is our weakest link, while theirs functions well. I'm hoping for 3pts, wont be dismayed with a point, I think we are up against it. We need a cunning plan from Carlo!

As far as football in general is concerned, it's the same as everything else: the older you get, the shine goes off most interests.

I'll watch Everton's games and some of the more important matches between the top teams, but quite a few of those are turn offs with all the pissing about in midfield.

Brian Harrison
74 Posted 01/07/2020 at 11:19:27
I am sure after a couple of indifferent results Leicester will be determined to get their season back on track. And yes, Vardy is always a threat running in behind defenders, and no doubt they will try and engineer it that he runs off Keane rather than Holgate.

But having said that their 2 centre-backs don't have much pace and I think in Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison we can pose as many worries for their defence as they can to our defence. But we should remember that Liverpool carried far more of a threat than Leicester and we virtually nullified their attack.

Kevin Molloy
75 Posted 01/07/2020 at 11:34:51
Delph, another appalling purchase. Disastrous attitude, sky high wages, always injured. I really do wonder about Brands, I see his contract is up next year, I don't see how on earth he gets an extension.
Kevin Molloy
76 Posted 01/07/2020 at 11:36:55
Sam. Yes Ndidi.
Mal van Schaick
77 Posted 01/07/2020 at 11:58:38
Stick with team that beat Norwich if we can. Play blanket defence against their better midfield, use Calvert-Lewin to hold up the ball and counter-attack for a 1-0 win. I hope. We need this win to stay in touch with the European places.
Brian Harrison
78 Posted 01/07/2020 at 11:59:19
Kevin 76 & Sam 71,

I agree that Ndidi is an excellent box to box midfielder with loads of energy, and a talented player.

But let's not forget that in Gana Gueye we had a player whose stats showed he covered more ground than any other midfield player in the Premier League, and was in the top 2 in the league for winning tackles. But at 30 with 2 years left on his contract, we allowed him to leave. I guess it didn't fit with Brands wanting a younger group of players.

Gomes played his best football when played alongside Gueye as he knew he could push forward and Gueye would cover for him. We didn't have anyone at the club who could do what Gueye gave us, and that's why at times our midfield is found wanting at times.

Conor McCourt
79 Posted 01/07/2020 at 12:00:24
I'd be more worried about us defensively for this game than midfield.

I think we defended excellently against them lot but it was a very organised, negative display which took into effect the quality of the opponent. I don't think we will give Leicester the same respect and I think Vardy will target Keane as we won't camp in our half in this game. This will be a different test for Michael and we don't want him isolated with the striker.

I was also less impressed with us against Norwich than many others and believed our clean sheet was a symptom of Norwich lack of quality in attack than our defensive resolution. If we get carved open for chances like Rupp's and Buendia's, Vardy and Ineacho will bury those opportunities.

Eddie, Vardy has been revitalised since Puel was replaced so unsure why you think that.

Dave Williams
80 Posted 01/07/2020 at 12:45:24
I think it's safe to say that most of us aren't fussed at what we are seeing and I agree the games are like those pre-season friendlies with sometimes a bit extra going into the odd tackle. I can't understand why teams are not getting fired up before they go onto the pitch because in most games that approach would win the points.

All said, we have games to play which can yield points and if we can get say four points from the next two games we could have a realistic shot at the Europa League.

If not then it is a perfect time to see what the youngsters, including Moise, can do with a run of a few games and no critical crowd ready to jump on every mistake. This season has already given us two top-class players in Holgate and Calvert-Lewin- maybe there are one or two others ready to seize their moment?

Sam Hoare
81 Posted 01/07/2020 at 13:22:37
Brian @78, I'd be surprised if Brands especially wanted Gueye to go but I think PSG had been after him for a while and probably it was a gentleman's agreement of sorts. Hard to keep an older player at a mid-table club when he has one of the best teams in the world chasing him.

The great pity has been the lack of replacement. Clearly that's what Gbamin was brought in for but the poor lad's had rotten luck. None of our other midfielders can get around and make tackles, except Delph on a good day perhaps.

Kevin @76, very good.

Annika Herbert
82 Posted 01/07/2020 at 13:25:19
Fabian Delph, yet another disaster of a signing by Everton! Known as an ageing and constantly injured player, surely someone should have pointed out this would be a huge risk of a signing?
Eddie Dunn
83 Posted 01/07/2020 at 14:06:52

Vardy has dried-up since the New Year. I think he only has 2 goals in 2020 (I know it sounds worse than it is!) but he has been finding their new style difficult to adapt to and he seems a little rusty. They don't play so counter-attacking these days; instead, they like to control the midfield.

Without the distraction of Maddison, Vardy is easier to mark and has to use his guile rather than the pure pace.

Robert Tressell
84 Posted 01/07/2020 at 14:07:33
The Delph signing looks poor because we got unlucky with Gbamin. Delph was midfield and left-back cover for what should have been a trio of Gbamin, Gomes and (fresh from 13 goals in 2018-19) Sigurdsson. ٦.5M for his experience and versatility looked quite astute at the time.

The Gbamin injury completely screwed our season. I've said before, I think we'd still have Silva if Gbamin had stayed fit.

Si Cooper
85 Posted 01/07/2020 at 14:14:50
Bit of an acid test. Unlike some, I think we have a sufficient amount of attacking ability to think we could get a couple against the likes of Leicester.

Our long term problem is controlling games with a midfield that is often chasing shadows.

Sam, thanks for confirming I wasn't reading Kevin's post wrongly 😎.

Brian Wilkinson
86 Posted 01/07/2020 at 14:29:43
We need to go into the game like we did in the second half of our cup game against Leicester.

We gave them far too much respect in the first half and the freedom of the midfield, once we put them on the back foot, we had them wobbling and dominated the later stages.

Need to get at them from the start this time and turn the tables on them.

Our midfield is a worry, but if we can not allow as much space this time, then I see Everton collecting three points.

Jay Harris
87 Posted 01/07/2020 at 14:54:59
I can see us solidly defending and looking to do a "Leicester" to them.

I think he will put Sigurdsson in in place of Davies and drop Richarlison to the left wing and put Kean on to hit them on the break.

If we have Calvert-Lewin, Iwobi, Kean and Richarlison hitting them on the break, I can see a decent win for us – especially if Maddison is out.

Kev Gibbs
88 Posted 01/07/2020 at 14:59:18
Robert @84. You could also factor in Sigurdsson's colossal loss of form and the Gomes injury. If memory serves, the consensus of opinion at the time was that, at ٦M, Delph was a good bit of business.
Tom Bowers
89 Posted 01/07/2020 at 15:08:10
Carlo's over-exaggeration of our strikers is purely bullshit. If we have great strikers, what do Liverpool and Man City have? And why do we struggle to score in most games?

Richarlison has ability and hasn't shown it as much as we would like but Calvert-Lewin is still not the finished article. Anyone else in the offence department is not worth mentioning at the moment.

We do need another class midfielder who can notch a few, à la Lampard; until then, we will struggle.

Jamie Crowley
90 Posted 01/07/2020 at 15:20:02
Anybody else get the feeling that this is our season?

Win this, Europe is still on. Whether we want that or not is an entirely different conversation. But if we get 3 points we're in the mix.

Lose, and it's mid-table for sure.

Anyone want those 2 lost points from Newcastle back?

Also, if Tom plays, look for a good game from him. He played very well against Liverpool, then played poorly against Norwich on three days rest, that only being the second game back after a 3-month layoff. I think with a full week's rest, we'll see him play much better – if he plays.

Christy Ring
91 Posted 01/07/2020 at 15:40:00
Rob @84 & Kev @88,

I, and many more said a the time, it was bad business signing Delph, a little over 3 months short of his 30th birthday, who was injury-prone at Man City, and surplus to requirements.

Giving him a 3-year contract, on bigger wages than he was on at Man City? Bad business.

Bobby Mallon
92 Posted 01/07/2020 at 16:14:43
Sidibé should play in midfield. He has the best tackles and interceptions stats out of our entire team. Put him next to Gomes.
Jerome Shields
93 Posted 01/07/2020 at 16:15:26
Delph was a good signing at the time and has contributed, but whoever negotiated and agreed the contract should have been sacked. It wasn't Brands.
Derek Knox
94 Posted 01/07/2020 at 16:34:54
Hi Jamie C, how are you mate? At long last got my PC working again, I tried all those help/fixes which took ages because of cursor disappearing /jumping etc. Everything I tried was to no avail, so I decided off my own back to buy another mouse, then Voila all is now okay! At no point did any 'help' articles suggest that could be the problem.

Bobby @92, good shout there about Sidibé there, with Seamus behind, whether that will be an option considered, is another matter, although I do bow down to Carlo's know-how, and believe he will choose the best available combination.

Come on you Blues! Almost forgot about it being a 6 o'clock kick-off.

Mike Gaynes
95 Posted 01/07/2020 at 16:49:39
Fire up the Forum! Let's get to the beer!
Rob Halligan
96 Posted 01/07/2020 at 17:01:24
Sigurdsson and Gordon start.
Jay Wood

97 Posted 01/07/2020 at 17:02:35
Sigurdsson and Anthony Gordon in for Tom Davies and Bernard the only two changes to the starting XI. Yerry Mina returns to the subs bench.
Ajay Gopal
98 Posted 01/07/2020 at 17:03:36
Yaay, my team prediction (37) was correct! (For the very first time!!!)

Pleased for Anthony Gordon, and hopefully Beni Baningime can get a few minutes on the pitch today. Good luck, fellow Blues!

Conor McCourt
99 Posted 01/07/2020 at 17:08:06
Eddie @83- he scored 25 goals in his first 26 games for Rodgers and still has the best record under him than any manager in terms of goals to games despite being 32. Vardy is going through a lean spell of 2 in 10 but Leicester have been struggling for form and not just him.

I just hope we keep him quiet tonight as I agree with Brian that our front two can cause them problems.

Jay Evans
100 Posted 01/07/2020 at 17:08:51
Jerome @93, contributed what exactly?
Carl Manning
101 Posted 01/07/2020 at 17:11:27
Vardy struggling under Rogers, Eddie?

He's top scorer in the Premier League!

Jay Harris
102 Posted 01/07/2020 at 17:27:43
Vardy is one of the deadliest strikers around. He can do nothing for 89 minutes then spring to life and boy does he know how to finish.

The only good thing for us is that Maddison is not starting this game and it looks like they will look to the flanks with Albrighton coming in.

Hopefully we will have enough determination and organisation to beat them.

Alan McGuffog
103 Posted 01/07/2020 at 17:43:57
So Vardy needs one more for his 100, I heard. Why is it always Everton?

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