The Everton Viewpoint On Monday's 'Critical' Clash

Joe Thomas, from the Liverpool Echo, believes Everton have to secure a positive result at Leicester City to keep their fight for Premier League survival in their own hands.
More on this story...

- Everton visit King Power Stadium to face Leicester City on Monday
- The 8pm BST kick-off puts 18th vs. 19th in the Premier League
- Liverpool Echo reporter Joe Thomas has provided Everton's perspective
- He says now is the time for Sean Dyche's men to start winning points

The stakes are high for both teams at King Power Stadium on Monday - each desperate to avoid dropping out of the Premier League. Everton are 19th and City are 18th, with just a point between them, ahead of a five-game run-in.

Sean Dyche's Toffees are without a win since 11 March, while Leicester have four points from their last two top-flight matches. Form will stand for nothing, however, when the sides emerge from the tunnel on Filbert Way.

"It’s absolutely critical, especially after what happened against Newcastle (a 4-1 defeat)," Thomas told LCFC Radio's Matchday Live show. "It wasn’t just the result, but the manner in which Everton collapsed which was particularly problematic.

"It really did offer worrying signs about what the next five games might hold. Everton have an opportunity to arrest that on Monday against Leicester. There wouldn’t be any better way of recovering from the disappointment of recent games than getting an important three points away from home against a relegation rival and probably moving out of the relegation zone.

"It feels like it’s probably the last chance Everton will have to keep matters in their own hands."

Expand photo
Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche's men have just five games to save their Premier League status.

Persistent injuries to Dominic Calvert-Lewin have been a regular source of frustration for Everton supporters. He is at least back for the run-in, though. His absence has been felt across the entire season, Thomas believes.

"Goalscoring has mainly been the problem," he added. "There has been issues at both ends, but there have been times throughout this season – particularly in Dyche’s early days – where Everton were hard to beat.

"There was a degree of resilience, but when Dominic Calvert-Lewin hasn’t been available, they have lacked a focal point up front, a clinical edge. As a result of that, they’ve just really struggled to win games. For most of the season, they’ve been reasonably good at staying in games for an hour, but they’re not taking chances to win games.

"The second problem, after scoring goals, is a lack of strength in depth. It’s quite a small squad. It only takes a couple of injuries or suspensions to hit it and, when you’re now in the days of five substitutions, against squads of the size and strength of so many Premier League outfits, quite often, after 60 or 70 minutes, they don’t have the players to turn to on the bench.

"It's a lack of depth and a lack of goals in particular."

Dyche was considered by many to be the right man to lead Everton's survival bid and may yet achieve the Merseyside club's primary objective. It's been hard, though, for the former Burnley manager to lead them away from danger.

Context is important, [Dyche has] been forced to reshuffle his pack with injuries and the three-game suspension that Abdoulaye Doucouré got against Tottenham.

Joe Thomas Liverpool Echo

"It was the right appointment, I think that’s fair," Thomas said. "Given the context that Everton were operating in at the time and who was available, it’s difficult to make an argument for anybody else. He had an immediate impact on the side.

"There was a significant improvement. Very early on, they won the first game under him against Arsenal. They followed that up with wins against Leeds and Brentford. There was a greater resilience and stubbornness within the side.

"I think that gave everybody hope that Everton would survive just like they did last season. Things have turned a little in recent weeks. Context is important, he’s been forced to reshuffle his pack with injuries and the three-game suspension that Abdoulaye Doucouré got against Tottenham. He was central to the rejuvenation that Everton had initially under Dyche.

"Once they were left without him, it took that away from them. They’ve struggled to regain solid ground after that."




Leicester City Crest





Get Game Pass

To watch or listen to Leicester City’s Sky Bet Championship matches live on Foxes Hub, you now need to have a Game Pass. Please click below to get yours and enjoy the action!

Buy Game Pass Now!