Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Prediction: Hajduk Split vs Everton

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: William Hill

Hajduk Split appear to have missed a good opportunity to keep the tie alive in the first leg and they will have a mountain to climb after the 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park. Everton, on the other hand, will be hoping to extend the good run of results and record a morale-boosting win ahead of Sunday’s clash with Premier League champions Chelsea.

Hajduk Split

Hajduk Split had done really well in Europa League qualifying stages before the play-offs, recording 3-1 and 2-0 aggregate wins over Levski Sofia and Brondby respectively, winning three of four legs and keeping as many clean sheets in the process. The Whites were then quite unfortunate to be pitted against heavily reinforced Everton, and they failed to defy the odds in the first leg at Goodison. The Toffees were 2-0 at half-time, having scored just before the break, but rather than getting demoralised, Hajduk players showed considerable improvement in the second period and came close to scoring on several occasions. They can definitely take some heart from that performance ahead of the return match, but they will have to play a perfect game in order to stand any chance of upsetting their more illustrious opponents. Hajduk Split did pretty well in Europa League games on home soil, winning eight of last nine, albeit facing seriously weaker opposition than themselves and especially Everton. Back in 2011, they were beaten 1-0 by Stoke City and also suffered defeats to Inter Milan, Dila Gori and Dundalk in the coming years.

Team News

There have been no reported selection problems for Joan Carrillo, whilst Ahmed Said is pushing for a start after bagging a hat-trick at the weekend.


While Everton fans must be delighted by club’s dealings in the summer transfer window and the quality of players that arrived at Goodison Park, some of them believe this should have been done earlier, when the likes of Man Utd, Liverpool and Spurs were not as strong as they are now. With Chelsea and Man City also in the picture, a top 4 finish still looks an uphill task, but there is no denying that the Toffees finally appear on the right track. It is perfectly clear that the likes of Sigurdsson, Klaassen, Keane, Pickford and Sandro will seriously improve the quality of the squad, but it is the capture of prodigal son Wayne Rooney that could prove a genuine masterstroke. The England and Man Utd highest ever goalscorer is eager to prove his worth after a difficult couple of years at Old Trafford and two goals in first two Premier League fixtures are enough to suggest he is already close to top form. Everton head into the Hajduk clash high on confidence despite failing to hold on to a one-goal lead against Man City, and they can be trusted to secure progress to the EL group stages.

Team News

New signing Gylfi Sigurdsson is in line for his first start, while Cuco Martina, Davy Klaassen and Muhamed Besic are also expected to play a part.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Hajduk lost both EL matches to Stoke City back in 2011
  • The Whites won eight of last nine EL qualifiers at home
  • Everton are unbeaten this season (W4 D1)
  • The Toffees conceded just one goal in those five games
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson set for his first Everton start


Hajduk Split are in a very difficult position at the moment, being forced to attack from the off, which is likely to make Everton’s job even easier in the return leg. Despite the fact that Ronald Koeman is expected to rest some of his star players, we are backing the Toffees for another victory.

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: William Hill





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