EVERTON make the short trip across the Channel to face Lille in the Europa League on Thursday night. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) has a look at the best bets.
Lille v Everton | 18.00 | ITV 4
A 3-0 home victory over Aston Villa was a welcome boost for Everton on Saturday. It was just their second Premier League win of the season and ended a winless run of five for the Toffees. Roberto Martinez’s men now head to northern France, looking to consolidate their position atop of Group H in the Europa League.
Martinez had promised Bill Kenwright Champions League football when interviewing for the role of Everton manager last summer and winning the Europa League could be their best route to qualifying after making a sluggish start to domestic action. The Spaniard has fielded strong teams in the Toffees first two fixtures and backed by around 10,000 travelling fans, will look to build on a 4-1 win over Wolfsburg and creditable 1-1 draw in Krasnodar.
And there’s plenty of reason to believe the 6/5 chalked up by Coral on Everton in the Draw No Bet market is worth some interest. On first glance it looks a very well-balanced clash but it’s worth noting Lille have gone off the boil in recent weeks. The Great Danes have lost back-to-back games (including a horrific home defeat to struggling Guingamp at the weekend) and have recorded just one win from their last seven matches.
René Girard’s team have been lauded for their outstanding defensive displays in the past year but that previously reliant solidity has gone astray too with Lille leaking in five of their last seven. And goalscoring has been an issues too; only Guingamp have scored fewer than their eight goals in Ligue 1 action.
Neither side have particularly flattering records in Europe – Lille have managed just one win in eight home European nights whilst Everton have recorded just two victories in eight continental ties on the road – but with the draw on our side, the Toffees look the best value to come out on top at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
Lille v Everton – Everton draw no bet (6/5 Coral)