Everton vs Leicester City

Wednesday, 31 January, 2018 42comments  |  Jump to most recent
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Seamus Coleman could start his first senior game for Everton for 10 months

Hopefully refreshed from a 10-day hiatus enforced by their early exit from the FA Cup, Everton are back in action under the lights to face resurgent Leicester City at Goodison Park.

The Blues will kick off in 9th place, five points above the relegation zone and just a point above West Ham United, the team that were second from bottom of the Premier League back in November when Sam Allardyce left his seat in the Goodison Park Directors' Box having witnessed his new team trounce the Hammers 4-0.

Since then, while Allardyce initially built on that victory with three wins out of his first four games in charge, Everton haven't won a game in any competition and the cushion they had established between themselves and the teams fighting it out at the bottom below them has eroded away.

It means that this meeting with Leicester has taken on added importance, particularly in view of what was another limp display last time out against West Bromwich Albion. That fortunate 1-1 draw extended the team's winless run since 18th December to seven matches, a sequence in which Everton scored just three times.

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The Foxes will pose stern opposition, though. In a significant measure of trouble themselves around the time Ronald Koeman was sacked at Everton, Leicester have undergone a more enduring turnaround in their fortunes since they dismissed Craig Shakespeare for a run of form that had left them sitting in the bottom three.

Shakespeare will be in the stands at Goodison for this one, of course, with an ear-piece and microphone acting as Allardyce's eyes from a higher elevation but since his departure, Claud Puel has inspired a remarkable recovery in Leicester's fortunes. They have risen to seventh place in the table, six points better off than Everton, thanks to an unbeaten start to 2018.

They will be missing their biggest creative force, however, in the form of Riyad Mahrez who rocked the Midlands club yesterday by handing in a transfer request, presumably to force a deadline-day move to Manchester City.

The Algerian star has been withdrawn from the matchday squad that will travel to Goodison and that will at least alleviate fears among Evertonians for Cuco Martina, the Blues' makeshift left-back who is likely to start again despite Luke Garbutt's anticipated inclusion in the squad.

They still have the in-form Jamie Vardy, though, and players like Shinji Okazaki who provide pace and running that could be employed to unsettle an Everton defence that has looked very vulnerable in recent weeks.

Allardyce's rearguard could be bolstered, however, by the long-awaited return of Seamus Coleman. The Irishman will be on the team sheet for the first time since last March following his recovery from a broken leg but it remains to be seen whether he is deemed fit enough to start after just an hour's worth of action for the Under-23s under his belt.

As far as the rest of the defence is concerned, things could be very much in the air. None of Mason Holgate, Phil Jagielka or Ashley Williams have looked particularly strong recently and Allardyce might feel compelled to throw Michael Keane back into the line-up now that he has recovered from his latest foot injury, even if that will do nothing for continuity in a key area of the pitch.

James McCarthy's own leg fracture will enforce a change in midfield where Idrissa Gueye is likely to start with Beni Baningime and Tom Davies (the 19-year-old was apparently for the last two games) providing cover on the bench and then there's the question of who starts out of Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Rooney came off the bench against West Brom to good effect and that could get him the nod this time.

Leicester came to Goodison on a five-game winning streak last season and were put to the sword in an entertaining game that ended 4-2 to the Blues. A similar scoring spree is unlikely given Everton's shot-shy and toothless demeanour these days but it would provide a huge sense of relief of they could grind out another victory and bring the 40-point target that bit closer.

Kick-off: 7:45pm, Wednesday 31st January, 2018
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Last Time: Everton 4 - 2 Leicester City

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Jagielka, Martina, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Rooney, Bolasie, Walcott, Tosun

Quotes sourced from ToffeeWeb match page

Reader Comments (42)

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Christopher Timmins
1 Posted 31/01/2018 at 06:25:37
Given the improvement shown by Swansea over the past couple of weeks, this is a game where we must get something out of. Maybe not a must win but definitely a must not lose game.

John Keating
2 Posted 31/01/2018 at 06:35:18
I hope Coleman is not rushed back and prefer to see him on the bench.

Leicester have been very impressive recently and unfortunately I can't see us getting anything tonight.

Mahrez may not be in their squad but they are good and extremely pacy all over the park.

I would start Garbutt and the front 3 Lyndon mentions. As regards the rest, well, it doesn't really matter as nobody stands out.

Things are going to be getting tighter below us as teams with more balls than us start picking up points. A bloody nightmare of a season.

Gareth Clark
4 Posted 31/01/2018 at 07:22:15
Kenny Keane Jagielka Garbutt
Idrissa Klaassen
Walcott Sigurdsson Bolasie

Subs: Robles, Williams, Coleman, Schneiderlin, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin, Niasse.

Derek Knox
5 Posted 31/01/2018 at 07:45:20
Gareth, I can't see Klaassen being involved in any capacity, rumoured to be going on loan to Italy, but apart from that not a bad line-up.

If we start with Schneiderlin and Martina, we are effectively down to nine men, and as has been mentioned, Leicester are high flying at the moment, even without Mahrez.

It also appears that a lot of the chasing pack below us are picking up results; where we have stagnated since Sam's honeymoon start; I am normally optimistic before a game, but struggle to see us getting anything here.

Amit Vithlani
6 Posted 31/01/2018 at 07:46:27
I don't think the speculation regarding Schneiderlin has been good for the team or the player. It cannot have helped his confidence to read that West Ham were having second thoughts due to his bad form, whilst his team mates would have known that he is struggling.

The manager needs to be sensible and leave him out, for his own sake and that of the team.

McCarthy's injury was a further blow but I hope Coleman's return is a boost to morale.

Perhaps Allardyce will finally see the merit in playing one defensive midfielder – Gueye – and playing Rooney alongside Davies in the Middle.

Sigurdsson, Walcott and Tosun as a front three.

At the back, Williams and Holgate is the best of a bad set of CB combos.

I would give Martina a break and start with Garbutt. I don't expect to see Coleman play so Kenny to continue.

Bolasie as a sub, to continue his rehab. The lad needs to be brought along slowly and the form we are in, he could suffer badly.






Martin Reppion
7 Posted 31/01/2018 at 08:34:32
If it was down to me we would not be worrying about Leicester but concentrating on what we can do. A tactic not emplyed since Unsy's last match.

I'd go with:

Kenny, Holgate, Jagielka, Garbutt.
Gueye, Rooney.
Walcott, Sigurdsson, Vlassic.

Subs: Robles, Coleman, Keane, Lookman, Bolasie, Calvert-Lewin, Davies.

Jim Bennings
8 Posted 31/01/2018 at 08:44:24
Let's be brutally honest: if we play like we have in the last eight matches, we are going to lose. There simply must be a vast improvement!!!

It would be nice to see a few shots on goal too?!!!

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 31/01/2018 at 08:53:56
I'm going to Godison tonight hoping to see a more attacking game from Everton with the players told to shoot on sight; hoping but unfortunately not expecting.

Come on, Sam, surprise us for once... and Sam – check Shahespeare's earpiece; it doesn't seem to be working very well.

Winston Williamson
10 Posted 31/01/2018 at 09:05:04
I'm sure Allardyce has spent every waking minute (since our last game) drilling the team to nullify Leicester's attacking threat.

So...we can expect to be one down inside of ten minutes, with Allardyce on the touchline scratching his head at the prospect of having to attack and chase a game.

How many shots on goal do we think we'll have today? One? two?? None?

Looking forward to another home defeat, without much attacking intent.

I think we'll lose 0-2.

Martin Nicholls
11 Posted 31/01/2018 at 09:38:34
Martin Reppion (#7) – my thoughts as well. Too much negativity on this site from a fan group who collectively derided Moshiri for his ill-advised comments suggesting that losing to the top six is "expected".

Many on here, in "dreading" the prospect of facing Leicester City at home, have embraced that comment but enlarged this unbeatable group to seven!

As usual I'll be there tonight supporting our team and optimistic that we'll win. COYB – positive approach required.

Winston Williamson
12 Posted 31/01/2018 at 09:44:29
Martin (#11) – "positive approach required".

Maybe you can relay this to our manager, instead of fans/supporters having a whinge at the worst type of football being served up in most of our lifetimes.

Liam Reilly
13 Posted 31/01/2018 at 10:09:03
Allardyce has already confirmed that he plans to refocus his attention on clean sheets as opposed to any attacking intent; so anyone who thinks that the team will be set up with anything other than trying to steal a set-piece point or victory is sadly mistaken.

The club needs to get shot of this dinosaur and his god awful football.

Dick Fearon
16 Posted 31/01/2018 at 10:39:18
Sam is not a dinosaur. He is just an ordinary bloke who makes mistakes. Lots of em'. The sooner he's gone, the better.
David Hallwood
17 Posted 31/01/2018 at 11:01:21
Good analysis, Lyndon. I think you're not far off the starting lineup with the exception of Coleman who looked understandably way off the pace in his U23 run out.

If Allardyce goes with 2 DMs that has served us so well this season (and the seasons before) I won't even listen to it never mind watch it.

Definition of insanity and all that.

Brian Harrison
18 Posted 31/01/2018 at 11:04:40
This man is slowly but surely sucking all the life out of this club and its supporters. I saw a comment from him saying "we don't score goals so we work on defending and keeping clean sheets". Well maybe if you worked harder at creating chances we might have more chances of actually winning games.

Just take a look around and you will see that the bottom sides are having a go no matter who the opposition is. WBA came here and were by far the better side and deserved all 3 points and played 2 up front. They then go to Anfield and do exactly the same in the cup.

Swansea have just beaten Arsenal and Liverpool. Palace are climbing out of trouble playing attacking football. Yet Allardyce thinks by playing a defensive game we will pick up the points needed. Well I hope to God you are right, because it is bordering on painful watching the Blues at present.

I of course will be there tonight no doubt watching us struggle to have a shot on goal, because Allardyce has got this team more concerned about defending than attacking.

Jason Wilkinson
19 Posted 31/01/2018 at 11:14:19
If Sam and his team had come to us and showed a defensive solidity we would have given him more time to become better in other areas. The problem has been we are not a more solid defensive unit and the other areas don't exist. Leicester will brutally expose any weaknesses we show tonight.

If Sam has any chance of rescuing his credentials as an astute coach then tonight's visit of a team made up of players who's sum is better than its parts needs to be outwitted by the team of No 10s.

Clive Rogers
20 Posted 31/01/2018 at 11:14:42
Brian #18, Kenwright has already sucked all the life out of EFC, Sam is too late.
PG Malcolm
21 Posted 31/01/2018 at 11:57:38
Surely not going to start Coleman?
Tony J Williams
22 Posted 31/01/2018 at 12:57:47
Dreading this already.

Schneiderlin probably playing and the usual shite of pushing Siggy out wide to nullify his game and forcing Rooney up top again.

If Schneiderlin and Gana start together, we may as well pack up.

Tell the last person out to turn off the relegation light.

Arsenal next... brilliant!!

Brian Williams
23 Posted 31/01/2018 at 13:00:12
Razor blades Tony? Going cheap mate.
Martin Nicholls
24 Posted 31/01/2018 at 13:08:55
Winston (#12) – I will be trying to convey the positive approach message to our management team in the only way I know how – by vociferously supporting our players at Goodison Park tonight. I trust you will be doing the same.

Whinging on TW, whether it be about the manager (who incidentally I didn't want and would be glad to see the back of) only conveys a message to other ToffeeWebers.

Kiern Moran
25 Posted 31/01/2018 at 13:44:56
A win to put us back on track. I would play 4-5-1 and go with: Pickford; Garbutt; Williams; Holgate; Kenny; Walcott; Gueye; Rooney; Davies; Calvert-Lewin & Tosun. Subs: Robles; Jagielka, Coleman, Sigurdsson; Bolasie, Lookman & Niasse.
David McMullen
26 Posted 31/01/2018 at 13:58:52
10 days roughly speaking lot of time to drive home a plan on the training pitch. Hope they looked at the poor defending against West Brom both before and for the goal and look at better defending as a team better attacking if they can't learn by now it's going to be a long finish to the season. Let's be positive some tweaks today (ahem left back centre midfield) hoping for a 2-0 or 3-1 win.
Jim Harrison
27 Posted 31/01/2018 at 14:02:30
Fuck me. Never mind glass half full/Half empty, posters on this site would be depressed after the first sip of a keg sized glass!!

Already talking about the game after? Got to take every game as it comes. Cant write off a game before the ball has been kicked. The manager we have has been brought in because we were up shit creek. He does things the way he does because he is pragmatic. AT this point in time it looks more prudent to get back to keeping tight than trying to open up teams. It may be dull, but who wants to see our poorly balanced squad get torn apart in the championship next term because the fire fighter chucked petrol on the blaze?

Each week there should be a designated wallowing thread, where posters can howl cry about what may go wrong at some point in the future

Lawrence Green
28 Posted 31/01/2018 at 14:24:37
Tonight's game is one of the most important home fixtures that Everton have had for quite some time, lose and the pressure will be cranked up to the maximum, win and we'll have a bit more breathing space.

All the negative stuff surrounding transfers, form, state of club etc won't help, we need to be as positive as possible in very trying circumstances.

I have already - perhaps foolishly - renewed for 2018/19 and I want that ticket to be for Premier League fixtures, Seven home matches to go this season including a couple of difficult fixtures including tonights game, but somehow we have to muster up the strength to help the team to win enough games to ensure our place in the top flight. We've managed to urge the team on before in similar circumstances and it would be a travesty if we allowed apathy to prevent us from doing so again.

COYB do the business as soon as possible so that we can look forward to next season and draw a veil over this one.

Jim Bailey
30 Posted 31/01/2018 at 14:44:58
Jim@27, brilliant. Unfortunately I don't think it will catch on, but a great idea.
Tony J Williams
31 Posted 31/01/2018 at 14:45:23
Brian 23, that's what these overpaid fuckers have done to me.

I am usually a happy go lucky optimistic fella, not any more

Peter Gorman
32 Posted 31/01/2018 at 15:09:32
As sorely as he has been missed, rushing Coleman back would be scandalous. Not only dangerous but demoralising; he needs far more time to be approaching match fitness.

I'd love to see Beni Baningime back in the side though, especially at Schneiderlin's expense. This is one cool kid.

Brian Harrison
33 Posted 31/01/2018 at 15:12:34
I think its very hard for fans to get behind a team who took 35 minutes to have a shot on goal, and I am not sure Kennys effort ever looked likely to trouble the West Brom keeper. I wouldn't mind if it was a one off but I think we have only had about 5 shots on target in our last 6 games or so. The crowd gets absolutely nothing to get excited about, except maybe if we go a goal behind, and Sam allows someone else to join in the attack.

I think the crowd would be a lot more animated if it looked like we were trying to win the game, rather than this negative approach of hoping the 1 up front or the wide men can score a goal out of nothing. I hope tonight we show more intent of getting into the final 3rd and try to play more positively. 3 points tonight would help massively, so please play for a win tonight. I am not asking for us to go gung ho and leave ourselves open, but I think we might need more than 2 shots on target to win tonight.

Ajay Gopal
34 Posted 31/01/2018 at 15:30:05
I would like to see Sam try a back 3 to bring in more solidity with Kenny and Garbutt operating as wing backs. Gueye the 1 holding midfielder. Rooney in the role of a playmaker, Siggy playing behind a front 2 of Tosun and Walcott.

Holgate Williams Keane
Kenny Gueye Rooney Garbutt
Walcott Tosun

Subs: Robles, Jags, Martina, Davies, Bolasie, Niasse, DCL

If we can’t beat a Leicester team majorly distracted by the Mahrez saga, at home with the players that we have, then I really fear we will be back in the relegation scrap. 2-1 for the Blues!

Andrew Clare
35 Posted 31/01/2018 at 15:34:57
Leicester have been playing well. We haven't been playing at all. I can only see another defeat.

Coyb's Surprise me for once. Yes, I know Everton don't do surprises.

Jay Harris
37 Posted 31/01/2018 at 15:51:58
This is a must win,not draw or lose and I think big Sam realises that and has hopefully prepared the players for it.

This game will be about counter attacking with pace and energy so I would go with:

Kenny Holgate Jags Martina

Gueye Davies

Walcott Sigurdson Bolasie


Coleman is not quite ready for such an important game and Tom Davies has to return to form. Sigurdson is much more mobile and accurate in his passing than Rooney so gets the nod. Walcott and Tosun are shoe ins and Bolasie is the maverick that may just turn the game for us.

Danny Baily
38 Posted 31/01/2018 at 16:07:51
After dropping two points against WBA this has become a must win.

Since Christmas day we have picked up 2 points from a possible 15. We should have been looking at a minimum of 5 points given the fixtures. Every point we drop drags us further into the mire.

With three of our next four away we must win this game.

I have us passing the 40 point mark with just three games to spare as it stands. If you're not worried about relegation, you should be.

George McKane
39 Posted 31/01/2018 at 16:20:24
Well a crazy runaround day since early - - just got in for about 3 minutes and now off to get the train to The dark House and onto Goodison.
Might be grey and sleet and cold - - just getting my headphones for some posso waves - - bit of Van first:
Inside it's warm love
Inside it's warm love
And it's ever present everywhere
And it's ever present everywhere
Warm love
Warm love

Love the train journey around New Brighton bay and into The City and then onto Kirkdale and walk up to TDH - - dark sky but the glow from Goodison:
Listen to me people
I ain't got time to think about Money
Or what it can buy
And I ain't got time to sit down and wonder
What make the birdies fly
And I don't have time to think about
What makes the flowers grow
And I've never given it a second thought
To where the rivers flow
And I ain't got time for nothin' else
I ain't got time to discuss the weather
And how long it's going to last
And I ain't got time to do no studying
Once I get out of class
I'm telling you I'm just a fellow with a one track mind
And when it comes to thinkin' about
Anything but my baby
I just don't have the time
Oh yeah
And I ain't got time for nothin' else
Don't you know I, I'm thinking about my baby
I ain't got time for nothin' else.
Bit of Marvin Gaye

Little quote in my head - - “Convince yourself everyday that you are worthy of a good life. Let go of stress, breathe. Stay positive, all is well.”

Rave on You Blues - -Mr.Mandelstam. Walt Whitman, Otis Redding,Anna Akmatovah, Dante and Lovers Artists and Poets Everywhere.

Honey, you do me wrong but still I'm crazy about you
Stay away too long and I can't do without you
Every chance you get you seem to hurt me more and more
But each hurt makes my love stronger than before
I know flowers go through rain
But how can love go through pain?
Ain't that peculiar?
A peculiar-arity
Ain't that peculiar, baby?
Peculiar as can be
Oh, you tell me lies that should be obvious to me
But I'm so much in love with you, baby, 'till I don't want to see
That things you do and say are designed to make me blue
It's a doggone shame my love for you makes all your lies seem true
But if the truth makes love last longer
Why do lies make my love stronger? (stronger, stronger, stronger)

Off to Goodison - - posso waves and cosmic blue waves all the way - -- George.

Tom Bowers
40 Posted 31/01/2018 at 16:30:40
It may not be a bad thing that Mahrez won't play but Leicester still have some speed on the break and if Everton play a high line then there could be trouble.

As usual we all hope Everton to come out of the blocks early and get command, something they have been able to do very little of this season.

With some attacking options now in Bolasie, Walcott and Tosun it would be a good time for the defence to come out with a big showing.

James Hughes
41 Posted 31/01/2018 at 16:30:56
George. a breathe of fresh air as usual, have a good night sir.

I was just looking at placing (what I call) a McKane with the bookies.
65/1 for a 4-0. so we need 4 shots on target, here's hoping

Dave Abrahams
42 Posted 31/01/2018 at 16:43:48
Jay (37), good selection, Tom Davies after a decent spell away from the first team can give us the energy we have been lacking,just have to have a more attacking intent, not going berserk but having some real energy and players in Leicestershire penalty area.
Tahir Abdullah
43 Posted 31/01/2018 at 18:19:48
Dreading this one; Sam has surpassed Moyes in his readiness to admit defeat before kick off. He's emphatically stated that offense will not be prioritized until the defense starts keeping clean sheets.
Mark Melton
44 Posted 31/01/2018 at 18:34:51
Let's just hope the whole Mahrez episode has unsettled them. We need all the help we can get.
Paul Smith
45 Posted 31/01/2018 at 18:37:46
My team for tonight would be as follows
Coleman, Holgate, Williams, Garbutt,
Davies, Rooney,
Walcott, To Sun

I would play a diamond midfield just to be able to get 2 up front. If this doesn't work bring wingers on later but feel we have to get 2 up for a change as other way not working.

Brian Williams
46 Posted 31/01/2018 at 18:51:09
You got most of em right Paul.


Colemam, Jags, Keane, Martina

Rooney, Davies, Gueye, Sigurdsson,

Walcott, Niasse.

Roman Sidey
47 Posted 31/01/2018 at 19:00:50
Kiern Moran, does your use of the semi-colon in your line-up convey a formation of 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2? Where's the width, man?

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