The emphasis has changed for Roberto Martinez’s Everton side. Everton can no longer be looked upon as plucky, overachieving outsiders for a top-5 finish – not now that they have smashed their transfer record in making Romelu Lukaku’s move from Chelsea permanent.
So serene was Leicester City’s progress to the Championship title that the normal pre-season caveats do not apply to them, either. Nigel Pearson has a tight-knit squad augmented by some sage summer purchases – so whilst survival will still be Leicester’s first port of success, they will quietly be hoping for lower mid-table security.
This is one of the more intriguing opening-day clashes. Everton should run out winners, perhaps by a narrow margin – yet it would be no surprise and possibly not so much of an upset were Leicester to come away with three points. Opening-day fixtures are often spectacularly bad guides to where a side will end up in May. But in this case, the result from the King Power could be revelatory as to the relative prospects of Leicester and Everton.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Leicester 1 (Marcus Bent) Everton 1 (Rooney) Premier League, March 2004
Everton 3 (Howey, Rooney, Radzinski) Leicester 2 (Les Ferdinand, Scowcroft) Premier League, December 2003
Everton 2 (Chadwick, Ferguson) Leicester 2 (Deane 2) Premier League, April 2002
0 seasons for Everton outside the Premier League
10 years since Leicester were in the Premier League
4 draws out of 5 encounters between Leicester and Everton at the King Power stadium
16 years since Leicester last beat Everton
Leicester to win: 2.87
Everton to win: 2.37
TV: Highlights on Match of the Day Saturday night at 10.30pm