Best Odds: 23/10
Without a win in their last three outings, Premier League side Everton once again face great pressure early in the season. Ronald Koeman’s men face a tough task in the Europa League clash against Lyon who travel to England with their spirits high.
Former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney came to Everton’s rescue last weekend at Brighton when he successfully converted a 90th-minute penalty to save Toffees from another Premier League disappointment and embarrassment.
Ronald Koeman’s men sit deep in the bottom part of the Premier League table with only 8 points won from as many league games played and one cannot exactly say that Europa League comes as a priority at this moment. Still, the Champions League’s young sister could prove to be a great chance for Toffees to gain confidence ahead of new challenges. Judging on Everton’s form, however, there is little hope in it. The English side sits rock bottom in Group E with only a point after two matches and another setback would all but rule them out of the run for the knockout stages. The 2-2 home draw against a side such as Apollon does not offer great encouragement ahead of a match against more illustrious opponents like Lyon. Having lost two of their five matches Everton head into the Thursday match short of confidence but definitely with enough quality to be one of the surprises of the evening.
The selection situation does not work in Everton’s favour knowing that midfielders Aaron Lennon, Yannoick Bolasie and Ross Barkley all remain sidelined for the occasion.
James McCarthy is edging closer to a return but the Lyon game comes too early for him. Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori remain listed as long-term absentees.
There can hardly be a better and bigger morale-boost than a last-gasp win over reigning champions.
That’s exactly what French side Lyon are carrying to their trip to England knowing they are coming off from a scintillating 3-2 victory over AS Monaco. In-form Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir scored a brace – including a 90th-minute winner – for his side to continue his rich vein of form and will definitely be the one to watch on Thursday. A versatile player who is equally apt on both wings or as a second striker has 34 goals in 95 games for Les Gones and will be their biggest threat once again. Lyon are currently two points behind Group E leaders Atalanta and will be pushing hard to remain unbeaten and even grab their first win in Europa league campaign after two opening draws. Lyon are a resilient side and a tough nut to crack but although their most recent away record is not offering much promise. The French side failed to win any of their last four matches away from hope but they will be hoping to put an end to that run at Goodison.
The visitors have no significant selection problems to worry about as Pape Cheikh remains the their only unavailable player, having picked up an ankle injury back in September.
Key Factors to Consider
- Everton lost 2 of their 5 home matches
- The Toffees are yet to win a Europa League game this season
- Lyon failed to win any of their last 4 away games
- Les Gones lost 5 of last 7 Europa League games on the road
- Nabil Fekir scored 8 goals in 11 matches for Lyon this season
The forthcoming clash at Goodison bears big importance for both Everton and Lyon. The hosts are under pressure to start producing results after a busy summer whereas the French side are hoping to build on the huge win over AS Monaco last weekend. We don’t expect to see a match with chances flying and plenty of attractive play, however, knowing that both teams have a lot to lose.
Best Odds: 23/10
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