Everton vs. Leicester / FA Cup – We have an interesting match between two Premier League teams in the third round of the English FA Cup. This season Everton stands much better in the championship, which occupies seventh place in the standings after 20 rounds and has even nine points more than 15th-placed Leicester. Besides, reigning champions of England were defeated just 10 days ago by Everton 2-0 in the championship, while last year Leicester had an upper hand in both league matches. Begins: 07.01.2017 – 16:00 CET
Of course, that indicates that in the meantime things have changed drastically in Everton’s favour, and now it is definitely favourite in this FA Cup match, especially as they will play in front of their fans at Goodison, where they defeated in previous championship round always tough Southampton by 3-0. When we add that Everton brought home even four points from two previous away matches against Leicester and Hull it is quite clear that the Toffes are in very good mood ahead of showdown with the Foxes in the FA Cup.
In last five Premiership rounds coach Koeman’s players have made just one mishap in the city derby against Liverpool played at Goodison Park, when they received the only goal in 94 minute and lost by 1-0, while out of remaining four matches they won three and drew one, which strengthen their hold of the seventh position in the standings. It in fact means that they will surely give their best in order to make the best possible result in the FA Cup, regardless that Koeman, besides injured goalkeeper Stekelenburg, midfielders Basic and McCarthy, and forwards Bolasie and Kone, cannot count this time on midfielder Gueye who went on the African Cup of Nations.
Probable lineups Everton: Robles – Coleman, Williams, Jagielka, Baines – Barry, Cleverley – Mirallas, Barkley, Valencia – Lukaku
Unlike Everotn which is in the best possible mood ahead of the third round of FA Cup the reigning champions of England are despite four won points from two latest championship rounds still just three places above the relegation zone. True, the difference between them and 18th-placed Sunderland is now six points as coach Ranieri’s players had firstly defeated West Ham 1-0 at home, and then played a goalless drew away with Middlesbrough.
Before that Leicester had a negative series of two defeats and one draw, where the last defeat was suffered by no one else but Everton at Leicester’s King Power stadium, while away the Foxes still haven’t triumphed this season. Right because of that Ranieri has to set very smart tactic against the team from Liverpool, although his job is certainly not easier after three very important players have left for the African Cup of Nations; midfielders Amartey and Mahrez, and forward Slimani. On the other hand, Leicester’s first scorer Vardy is back after expiration of suspension, while injured midfielder Kapustka is still out of action.
Probable lineups Leicester: Schmeichel – Hernandez, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs – Musa, Drinkwater, Mendy, Albrighton – Okazaki, Vardy
Everton – Leicester PICK
After they defeated Leicester 10 days ago as visitors by 2-0 in the championship we expect from Everton to do something similar now in the FA Cup, especially as the reigning champions of England have lost in the meantime even three starters who went at the African Cup of Nations.
Pick: Everton wins
Odds: 1.94 at betsson (down to 1.84 can be played)