Premier League Preview: Everton v Leicester

Roberto Martinez is taking heart from Everton's recent form as they look to arrest a slide towards the Premier League relegation scrap when Leicester City visit.

One win from their last nine league games leaves Everton just five points above the bottom three.

But there were positives to take from Thursday's 4-1 UEFA Europa League win over Young Boys, with Romelu Lukaku scoring a hat-trick ahead of the weekend's match against the division's bottom club.

"Our group is looking stronger game by game and experiences that we had already will help us to face a strong Leicester side," Martinez said.

"We know how difficult they're going to be.

"They've been very competitive. I don't think their points tally is a true reflection of what they've done and it's going to be difficult.

"We can't look at the table, nothing is a given. If anything you need to be perfect with your performance."

Everton have drawn their last four games at Goodison Park and were also held 2-2 by Leicester when the sides met on the opening day of the season.

After a promising start to the campaign, the 13-match winless run that followed has left Nigel Pearson's side constantly playing catch-up, while defeats in each of their last four league outings leaves them five points from safety with time running out.

Pearson has found his own position under threat amid their poor run, but the Leicester boss is not pinning his hopes on a victory on Merseyside to kickstart their campaign.

"All games are big now and we must find ways to win," said the City boss. "Performances must warrant the support of our fans

"Key games are against those near us, but every game is an opportunity. We need consistency in our performance. Results must improve."

Everton welcome back Leighton Baines back after knee trouble, while Aaron Lennon may also feature having been ineligible against his parent club Tottenham last weekend and in the Europa League this week.

Bryan Oviedo is a doubt due to a hamstring problem, but Gareth Barry is suspended and Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman are unlikely to be risked.

Kasper Schmeichel is still not ready to return to the Leicester side after a foot injury so Mark Schwarzer is expected to continue in goal, while Chris Wood (ankle) is also unavailable.