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Only three days after coming out on the wrong end of the scoreline in their relegation six-pointer with Burnley, Frank Lampard‘s Everton could hardly have responded in better fashion when Ralf Rangnick‘s topsy-turvy Manchester United side came to town.
Anthony Gordon‘s deflected winner off Harry Maguire – who else – was enough to secure what could end up being a priceless win for the Toffees in their bid to stay afloat in the division, with every member of the XI playing their part defensively to preserve their side’s slender advantage in the final moments.
Goodison Park erupted into delirium, with the home crowd fully aware that their side’s survival destiny is now in their own hands heading into the business end of the season as Everton sit 17th in the rankings – three points clear of recent conquerors Burnley with a game in hand.
Meetings with Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal could yet be pivotal in Everton’s bid to steer clear of danger – Lampard will likely already have one eye on the Merseyside derby on April 24 – but a new wave of confidence ought to overcome the Toffees ahead of Wednesday’s encounter.
Victory over the Red Devils marked Everton’s second top-flight win on the bounce at Goodison Park after a previous 1-0 success over Newcastle United, and Leicester are now travelling to a ground where Everton have won seven of their measly eight league fixtures this term
Everton boss Lampard should largely be working with the same crop of players who got the job done against Man United, with Andros Townsend, Tom Davies and Nathan Patterson still out of contention.
Yerry Mina and Donny van de Beek have had ample time to overcome their physical problems and could force their way into contention for Wednesday, but Lampard will be loath to make any changes to his starting XI.
Fabian Delph came in and did a terrific job in the engine room against Man United and deserves another start here, but Demarai Gray may be consigned to a spot on the bench against his former employers.
As far as Leicester are concerned, Rodgers also has a trio of long-term absentees working their way back in Wilfred Ndidi, Danny Ward and Ryan Bertrand, while Jamie Vardy is still on the comeback trail too.
Boubakary Soumare‘s muscle soreness did not let up in time for the meeting with Newcastle and he remains a doubt for this one, but Rodgers could bring some of his first-string players back into the XI either way.
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James Maddison, Jonny Evans, Ricardo Pereira and Kelechi Iheanacho are among those who should be drafted back in, while Wesley Fofana also ought to return after enjoying a complete rest at the weekend.
Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Mykolenko; Allan, Delph, Iwobi; Gordon, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison
Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Fofana, Castagne; Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall; Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes; Iheanacho