Leicester will have to overcome a dire record against Everton as they strive to keep their place at the top of the Premier League tree on Christmas Day.
James McCarthy remains a major doubt for Everton’s clash with Premier League leaders Leicester at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The midfielder has missed the last three matches with a hip problem and a late decision will be made about whether he can be included.
Defender John Stones suffered no ill-effects from the knocks to his ankle and knee he picked up before and during last weekend’s draw at Norwich while captain Phil Jagielka and midfielder Steven Pienaar could return during the Christmas period.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri will have to make a couple of enforced changes.
Danny Drinkwater (hamstring) came off injured during the win over Chelsea on Monday night and will miss the trip to Goodison Park while Robert Huth received his fifth yellow card of the season against the champions and is suspended.
Andy King will replace Drinkwater in central midfield while Ranieri will choose between Marcin Wasilewski and Yohan Benalouane to fill in at centre-back in Huth’s absence. Jeff Schlupp’s hamstring injury is set to keep him on the sidelines for up to six weeks.
- Leicester have won only one of their 18 Premier League meetings with Everton (W1 D13 L4) and none of the last 11 (W0 D9 L2).
- Of all fixtures that have been played at least five times in the Premier League, Everton vs Leicester City has the highest percentage of draws (72%).
- Steven Naismith has scored in both of his Premier League appearances against Leicester City.
- If Leicester City win this match, they’ll be top of the league on Christmas Day. Five of the last six teams to have been leading the league at Xmas have gone on to win the title, with the exception in this period being Liverpool in 2013-14.
- The Foxes are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League away games, winning seven in that run. Their previous best unbeaten run in the Premier League on the road was four matches.
- Indeed, 11 matches unbeaten on the road is Leicester’s best ever run in the top flight and is just two short of their overall league record of 13 away games without defeat set in April 2014.
- Romelu Lukaku has scored in his last seven consecutive matches in all competitions for Everton.
- Since Lukaku’s Premier League debut for Everton in September 2013, only Sergio Aguero (49) has more goals in the competition than the Belgian (37).
- Riyad Mahrez has been involved in 18 goals in the Premier League this season (11 goals, 7 assists); more than any other player. Jamie Vardy is next with 17 (15 goals, 2 assists).
- Only Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (18) has netted more goals in Europe’s top five leagues this season than Jamie Vardy (15) coming into this weekend.