The Foxes travel to Merseyside in a bid to kickstart their post-lockdown fortunes. Even going further back, Leicester’s record in all competitions over the last 15 games reads W4 D5 L6. Those wins came against Aston Villa, Brentford, Birmingham and West Ham; hardly a quality level of opposition.
In the same time period Everton boast a record of W7 D4 L4. The defeats coming against traditional big 6 clubs: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City.
Despite these contrasting samples, Everton are 14 points off Brendan Rogers’ side in the league and the most important metric in football would suggest the gap isn’t due to good fortune. Leicester have a goal difference of +30, compared to Everton’s -8. Given this, why are Everton (2.64) favourites to win today?The answer, unfortunately for the old-school punters, lies in the expected goal data.
Leicester’s expected goal difference is +12; they are scoring more than xG predicts they would, and are conceding less than xG predicts they would. That can happen when you have a top-class finisher like Jamie Vardy and a decent shot-stopped like Kasper Schmeichel. Whereas Everton aren’t scoring as many of the chances they should, and are conceding more than they should given the places they tend to give up shots on their goal.
If we adjust the sample for Everton games where Ancelotti has presided, the data would say smooth Carlo has The Toffees performing better:
I’m going to take the 42/50 (1.84) on Everton +0 on the Asian Handicap. That’s also known as the ‘Draw No Bet’. An Everton win sees us profit as close to doubling our money, with the safety of a void bet if it’s a draw.
New manager bounce is exaggerated by the untrained pundit. However, we’re dealing with a world-class, incredibly experienced manager. And there shouldn’t be a motivation problem for Everton players. Not only can they qualify for Europe (as low as 8th should see Europa League qualification), but players like Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Digne are in the shop window.
In terms of team news, Everton can welcome Yery Mina back to the squad. Leicester should once again be without James Maddison which is a significant loss. Not to mention longer term absentee Ricardo Pereira who is probably the 2nd best right back in the league. Leicester have played twice since the restart, against two of the poorer teams, Watford and Leicester, with the respective 1-1 and 0-0 draws being a fair reflection of those matches.
Let’s hope Leicester continue to struggle today. My one worry is Everton’s central midfield. I’m yet to be fully convinced that Sigurdsson and Gomes are the right combination, and I question their mobility. Tom Davies was pretty poor last time out against Norwich so I would imagine he’d be on the bench.
Everton +0AH (draw no bet) at 44/50 (1.85) with Bet365