Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers expressed his support for Everton boss Frank Lampard ahead of the two teams clashing at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
Everton sit three points above the Premier League relegation zone, albeit with a game in hand as well, after defeating Manchester United 1-0 last time out.
That brought a torrid seven-game run with just one win to an end, and Rodgers has openly placed his backing in fellow coach Lampard.
“They’ve got good players who go out and work hard and make it difficult and they’ve got players with quality, so it’s probably frustrating for the supporters, I’m sure, because it’s a huge club and the investment’s been huge and they probably wanted better,” he said.
“There was obviously a spell on Merseyside at the time I was there when Roberto Martinez was doing really well with them, so it’s tough.
“I think Frank Lampard will do really well as a manager. He’s gone in there with a really good team of coaches, but of course that overall vision of the club is so, so important.”
The Foxes slipped to a last-minute defeat at Newcastle United on Sunday, but Lampard is aware of the problems the visitors could pose.
“James Maddison is a fantastic player,” he said of the Leicester squad. “Vardy is a top-class player but they have replacements who are of a really high level.
“Collectively, they are well and truly strong enough to compete with any team in this league, and compete very well.
“We’ve seen that in the last two or three years while I’ve been working in the Premier League, battling with them for Champions League places, tough battles because they’ve got good quality. I’m very aware of that.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Everton – Anthony Gordon
Anthony Gordon has been directly involved in five goals (four goals, one assist) in his last six Premier League starts at Goodison Park, while he’s either scored (4) or assisted (1) five of the Toffee’s last seven home goals in the competition.
Leicester City – Kelechi Iheanacho
Kelechi Iheanacho has been involved in four goals in his last four appearances against Everton in all competitions (2 goals, 2 assists). He’s played just 157 minutes across these four games, averaging a goal or assist every 39 minutes against the Toffees in that run.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– After 13 of the first 18 Premier League meetings between Everton (4 wins) and Leicester (1) finished level, just one of the last 12 between the sides in the competition has been drawn, though that draw was in this exact fixture last season.
– Everton are looking to win consecutive Premier League games for the first time since September, following their 1-0 win against Manchester United last time out. However, Everton have lost 18 of their last 21 Premier League games in which they’ve conceded at least once (W1 D2).
– Everton have earned 79% of their Premier League points in home games this season (22/28), the highest ratio of any side. Only twice have the Toffees earned a higher share of their points in home games across a full league season – 84% in 1936-37 (31/37) and 80% in 1888-89 (16/20).
– Only three teams – Newcastle (24), Southampton (23) and Leeds (19) – have dropped more points from winning positions this season in the Premier League than Leicester (17), with the Foxes only dropping more points in three seasons in the competition: 21 in 1999-00, 28 in 2003-04 and 20 in 2017-18.
– Leicester City have lost eight away Premier League matches this season, including six of their last eight on the road in the competition (W1 D1). The Foxes last suffered more than eight defeats in a season in 2017-18 (9).