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Welcome to our live coverage as Everton host Leicester City at Goodison Park, which kicks off at 5.30pm.
At times last season Everton were sad as Frank Lampard’s side narrowly avoided relegation. However, the club have stuck with their man and despite losing Richarlison they have improved this season.
Thanks to a mix of coaching and smart moves in the transfer market, they look like a team on an upward trajectory for the first time since those heady days immediately following Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival.
The signings of Conor Coady and James Tarkowski were a masterstroke. It was the defense that let them down so much last year and the addition of two hugely experienced Premier League defenders has improved their fortunes significantly. The pair, both former captains of their previous clubs, also added leadership that was lacking in the last campaign.
Perhaps the greatest benefactor of Lampard’s reign at Everton has been Alex Iwobi. Iwobi, once highly rated at Arsenal, looked like a player starting a slow fall in the leagues, but he is reborn this season.
The Nigerian played more centrally and became the archetypal eight. He has already bagged five assists in 13 Premier League appearances and has arguably become their key player.
Another creative force in Leicester’s key player is James Maddison, but the 25-year-old has also been hugely important in front of goal this season. His six appearances in just 11 Premier League games have made him the club’s top scorer, ahead of Jamie Vardy and Patson Daka who have just four goals combined.
Maddison is currently on course to beat his Premier League best of 12 and will be hoping his continued brilliance will force the hand of Gareth Southgate to select him in England’s 26-man World Cup squad.
Leicester entered the weekend 18th in the Premier League table and despite struggling they are just three points behind Saturday’s opponents Everton, who sit six points clear of 12th.
If Brendan Rodgers’ side were to secure a win on the road today, it would instantly begin to allay concerns over their Premier League survival, while bursting the bubble of Everton’s strong start to the season and bringing them back potentially in air combat.