Leicester City-Everton Preview
Carlo Ancelotti has spoken of his desire to guide Everton into the Champions League as his side prepared to face fellow top-four contenders Leicester City.
Everton have taken 15 points and conceded only three times in their last six league matches to move to within two points of the top four with two games in hand.
Leicester have themselves enjoyed another season to remember and are flying high in third heading into the midweek round of fixtures thanks to three league wins in a row.
And Ancelotti has talked up the importance of Wednesday's clash if his side are to break into the top four for the first time since 2005 and qualify for the Champions League.
"As I said when I arrived here, to take Everton into the Champions League is a fantastic motivation for me personally. It's a great desire," he said."This is the target that we have for the future. I don't know how long it's going to take.
"I hope soon we can play games in the Champions League because it's the best competition in the world."
Leicester may be in impressive form but they have won only two of their 14 away Premier League meetings with Everton and lost 2-0 in the reverse fixture last month.
That is the Foxes' only defeat in their last 12 outings in all competitions and manager Brendan Rodgers feels his side are in a far better state heading into this rematch.
"It's probably the one disappointing game I look back on. We gave away not great goals and we didn't play so well on the night," he said.
"We conceded two poor goals from our perspective and ended up losing a game there wasn't much in. It wasn't a great game of football and the worst we should have done was take a point.
"We arrive in this game in a totally different moment. The energy is good, momentum is good, we're playing how we want to and hopefully we can put in a much better performance."
Everton - Dominic Calvert-Lewin
The Everton striker has failed to score in any of his last five Premier League games, having previously led the goalscoring chart after scoring 11 goals in his first 11 appearances.
However, he was on the scoresheet in Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round win over Sheffield Wednesday and will be hopeful of going on another scoring run.
Leicester - James Maddison
Jamie Vardy will miss this game through injury so there is even more pressure on Leicester's other attackers to step up, such as in-form midfielder Maddison.
The England international has scored in his last three league matches and four in a row in all competitions. He could become only the second City player to score in four straight Premier League games after Vardy, who has done so four times.
- Everton have won their last two Premier League games against Leicester, with the Toffees looking to win three league games in a row against the Foxes for the first time since a run of four between 1977 and 1980.
- Having scored 14 goals in their first five Premier League games this season (2.8 per game), Everton have netted the same amount in their subsequent 12 (1.2 per game). However, the Toffees have improved defensively, conceding 16 goals in their first nine league games this season (1.8 per game), compared to five in their last eight (0.6 per game).
- Leicester have won seven of their nine away Premier League games this season (D1 L1) - in only two top-flight seasons have the Foxes won more: 1965-66 (nine when finishing seventh) and 2015-16 (11 when finishing first).
- Rodgers has won 52.2 per cent of his Premier League matches as Leicester boss (P67 W35 D12 L20), which is the best ratio of any permanent Foxes manager in their top-flight history.
- Everton manager Ancelotti has lost three home league games this season - the Italian has only four at home in a season twice previously as a manager, doing so in both in 2006-07 and 2007-08 as Milan boss.
Updated January 26, 2021