Assistant manager John Ebbrell says Everton Under-23s are primed for a “tough, competitive” battle when the young Blues travel to Leicester City on Monday night (7pm GMT).
Everton will be aiming to secure a league double over Leicester, having beaten the Foxes 3-0 at Southport FC in September.
The teams’ previous six meetings were either drawn or settled by a single goal, however, and Ebbrell is expecting another tightly-contested encounter.
Everton are seventh in the Premier League 2 table following a 1-1 Merseyside draw on Monday. Leicester are two places below the Blues but will head into the game buoyed by an impressive 4-2 victory over Manchester United last time out.
“We know what Leicester are about and how they play,” Ebbrell told evertonfc.com.
“They are always good games. Good, competitive games – like the one we just had against Liverpool.
“We’ll prepare for a tough match. We always demand that our players train at the intensity they play.
“It will be a challenge but one we’re looking forward to. And as always, we’ll look to go and win.”
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HIGHLIGHTS: EVERTON UNDER-23S 1-1 LIVERPOOL UNDER-23S
Midfield talent Rhys Hughes netted a fine goal in Monday’s draw with Liverpool – his composed first-time strike finishing a slick Everton move.
Ebbrell has backed the 19-year-old Welshman to continue making important final-third contributions for the Toffees.
“When he’s on the ball, he’s a good passer – a good forward passer,” he said.
“He added a goal against Liverpool and that’s something we want to see more from Rhys. We feel he’s capable of scoring more goals.
“He also provides great set-play deliveries.
“From our point of view as coaches, we want him to keep working on those areas and improving.”