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Everton at Leicester: Match Preview - Toffees need to replicate Goodison form on the road

The Blues have the worst away record in the league - that needs to change

Everton v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

The Evertonians responded to the call to arms last weekend and that royal blue show of commitment was matched by the players, who claimed a vital win against Chelsea to keep their hopes of avoiding relegation alive.

The scenes outside Goodison Park when the team coach arrived were incredible, something we haven’t witnessed at the Grand Old Lady in a long, long time.

Credit has to go to all the fans group who organised the greeting, as well as the Finch Farm farewell on Saturday.

As Seamus Coleman said, you couldn’t not be inspired by such an emotional welcome, which carried on in the ground and through the game.

I have never seen a throw-in greeted with such raw, primal, enthusiasm than when Demarai Gray won one on the halfway line in the closing stages.

Everton v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

If one good thing comes out of this smouldering wreck of a season it is that the bond between the players, the manager and fans – so wretchedly broken at times last winter – has been restored.

There seems to be a genuine connection between the supporters and Frank Lampard, who has fully bought into the club. We haven’t really seen that since the first season under Roberto Martinez. Even if the worst were to happen I hope Lampard remains in charge.

Hope is not lost of course. Indeed it was given a mighty shot in the arm by that Chelsea result but they must now follow that up in their next two away matches.

The Toffees have been wretched away from Goodison this season, taking just six points and failing to win on the road since August. Now would be a wonderful time to reverse that trend and put the pressure back on Burnley, who lost at home to Aston Villa, and Leeds, who face a tough trip to Arsenal this weekend.

There are sure to be plenty of twists and turns between now and the end of the campaign. But at least Everton remain in the fight. And it is up to us all to do everything we can to drag the club over the line.

The opposition

AS Roma v Leicester City: Semi Final Leg Two - UEFA Europa Conference League Photo by Silvia Lore/Getty Images

It has been less than three weeks since Everton last played Leicester so must of what was said then applies now.

Injuries and a gruelling European campaign have hampered their Premier League progress this season, though they started impressively at Goodison Park and very nearly came away with all three points.

They suffered a semi-final exit in the Europa Conference League away at Roma on Thursday, leaving them will little to play for.

The Foxes are in 11th place in the table, 10 points off seventh, so we must hope their eyes are starting to drift towards the beach.

Brendan Rodgers is likely to make changes from the side that played in Rome too so this could well be a good time to play them.

Then again, with Everton’s away record they could say the same about us.

Previous meeting

Everton 1-1 Leicester April 20, 2022

Everton v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

As mentioned you only have to go back to last month for the team’s last meeting. Harvey Barnes gave the Foxes an early lead but Richarlison’s deflected effort in stoppage-time earned Everton a point.

Team news

Lampard says Richarlison will be fit and available despite coming off against Chelsea last weekend and struggling with an ankle knock picked up at Anfield the previous week.

Andre Gomes is fit to return but Donny van de Beek is still sidelined and Ben Godfrey will return to training next week.

What they said

Everton Training Session Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton boss Frank Lampard: “There was a nice bounce and feeling for everybody after beating Chelsea, but reality kicks in a day later.

“The next games are the most important and they are away games, where we haven’t performed as well as we want all season.

“We showed fantastic spirit and work ethic and gave a fantastic performance last week.

“There was a really good collective feeling of players and fans and the stadium all being together.

“In our position, we need everyone to work in the same direction, it makes you so much stronger, and we felt that.

“The fans showed their passion and desire and the players have to reflect that on the pitch.

“We did that – and it is important we sustain it.”

Final word

We really are on the home straight now. Sunday’s game kicks off a run of five matches in 15 days to end the season. The Chelsea game was great but the reality is Everton are still in the relegation zone. And as good as their home form has been it is their away results that have dragged the club down to the bottom.

Now would be a wonderful time to start righting that wrong.