Everton will be looking for their first home win since mid-December as they take on a Leicester City side that must close the ever-increasing gap to safety.
Having recently made some ill-advised comments about his desire to return to a ‘top club’, Romelu Lukaku produced the goods on the pitch as Everton romped to victory away to Young Boys in the Europa League on Thursday, which should provide the team a much-needed boost in what has been a frustrating season.
But the Toffees will also be wondering how their European form has been so strong while they have floundered in the Premier League. The gap to the bottom three is still too close for comfort, so this is a game that they must take advantage of if they are to avoid being dragged into the mire.
With only 17 points on the board, it is about time that Leicester gain more results to match their battling performances, with manager Nigel Pearson left to rue more bad luck in front of goal at Arsenal in the last Premier League game, before chances were missed as they were seen off by Aston Villa in the FA Cup.
The major positive from those two games was the goalscoring contribution of record signing Andrej Kramaric, who appears to have the necessary quality to help the Foxes launch a survival bid, but clean sheets have been at a premium, with Pearson’s decision to change to back three at Villa Park not having the desired effect.
Aaron Lennon is back for Everton after being ineligible for the game in Switzerland, while Leighton Baines returns from injury. Gareth Barry misses out through suspension.
Leicester are still without goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and striker Chris Wood, but Robert Huth is back after being cup-tied at Villa.
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