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Preview: Everton vs. Leicester City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Everton vs. Leicester City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Premier League clash between Everton and Leicester City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Leicester City will resume their search for a first win since the Premier League restarted when they take on Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.

The Foxes still sit third in the table but have seen their Champions League spot come under threat, while hosts Everton still have an outside chance of European qualification next season too.

Match preview

Whatever happens in the final seven games of this season, it has still been a memorable campaign for Leicester - one of their best ever in the top flight.

However, having laid such impressive foundations with 12 wins from their opening 16 games this season, they will not want to throw that away in the closing stages of the coronavirus-affected campaign.

Matters are still very much in the hands of Brendan Rodgers's side - they still sit third in the table, surpassing all pre-season expectations to remain well on course for a return to the Champions League in 2020-21.

However, they have won just four of their last 15 top-flight outings, including just one of their last seven and neither of their games since returning to action, to see their lead over fifth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers cut to only three points.

Draws against relegation-threatened pair Watford and Brighton & Hove Albion have both been disappointing, with the latter seeing them need a Kasper Schmeichel penalty save to avoid defeat.

It was also the fourth time in their last six league games that they have failed to score, and they drew another blank in the FA Cup on Sunday as Ross Barkley's goal fired Chelsea into the semi-finals.

Everton have not exactly been free-scoring of late either, finding the back of the net just once in their last three league games, but they did at least return to winning ways against Norwich City last time out.

Many may have been expecting a more comfortable win than their 1-0 triumph at the Premier League's basement side, but Carlo Ancelotti will not have been complaining at a timely three points to end a four-game winless streak.

Everton were a whisker away from inflicting a rare defeat on Liverpool in the derby too, and they will take confidence from that performance heading into their second home game back since the restart.

The Toffees are the only Premier League side still unbeaten at home in 2020 across all competitions, while their ongoing streak of seven without defeat stretches back to Leicester's last visit in December, when the Foxes won an EFL Cup tie on penalties.

Everton's last Premier League defeat on home territory came way back in November, since when they have faced six of the teams currently above them in the table and taken an impressive 12 points from the 18 on offer.

Ancelotti's side are just four points adrift of the final Europa League qualification spot and that will surely be their goal for the remainder of the season, particularly with matches against fellow hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur, Wolves and Sheffield United to come.

Everton Premier League form: WLDLDW

Leicester Premier League form: DLLWDD
Leicester form (all competitions): LWWDDL

Team News

Leicester are expected to be without playmaker James Maddison once again for this one after he missed the FA Cup clash with Chelsea due to a hip injury which has required an injection.

Rodgers admitted that he is a doubt for this game but should be fine to return against Crystal Palace at the weekend, which could mean another start for Dennis Praet.

Ricardo Pereira and Daniel Amartey remain sidelined, while Jamie Vardy will once again go in search of his 100th Premier League goal having drawn blanks in both games since the return so far.

Everton, meanwhile, could welcome Yerry Mina and Fabian Delph back into the fold for the first time since lockdown.

The match is likely to come too soon for Djibril Sidibe due to inflammation on his foot, while Theo Walcott will also be forced to wait a little bit longer for his return.

Cenk Tosun and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are both long-term absentees for the Toffees.

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne; Iwobi, Davies, Gomes, Bernard; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison

Leicester possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Justin, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Ndidi; Gray, Tielemans, Praet, Barnes; Vardy

We say: Everton 1-1 Leicester

Leicester have won the last three editions of this fixture and are looking for four in a row against Everton for the first time ever, but the Foxes' form in recent months has not matched their lofty league position.

Everton are yet to concede a goal since the restart and, for a misfiring Leicester attack, that could see them forced to share the spoils yet again.

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Premier League Table
2Manchester CityMan City34223986345269
4Leicester CityLeicester34178964323259
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd341610859332658
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34131384537852
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd34131293533251
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs341310115244849
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle341110133550-1543
14Crystal Palace34119143043-1342
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton34812143647-1136
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3487194059-1931
19Aston Villa3476213665-2927
20Norwich CityNorwich3456232663-3721
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