THE EUROPA LEAGUE returns on Thursday night. Here Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism) picks out his favourite fancy from Everton’s clash with to Apollon Limassol.
Everton v Apollon Limassol | Thursday 28th September 2017, 20:05 | BT Sport
Everton were humiliated in their first group game in Italy a few weeks ago, losing 3-0 at the hands of Atalanta.
Along with their poor Premier League form, the Toffees are currently in disrepute and there have even been calls for Ronald Koeman to lose his job.
They did manage a victory on Saturday, coming from behind to beat Bournemouth 2-1. Outcast Oumar Niasse bagged both the goals – could he be the Romelu Lukaku replacement that Everton have been looking for?
They have assembled a side that is worth the same as Bayern Munich’s, so they need to not only improve their results domestically but also get a win at home on Thursday.
Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane are both unavailable for Everton so it’ll be a good opportunity for youngsters Mason Holgate and Jonjoe Kenny to get some experience in the starting XI.
Cypriote outfit Apollon Limassol qualified for this competition by finishing third in their league last season, and were just one point off of a Champions League spot.
Apollon achieved a great result in their opening game of Group E, scoring a 90th minute equaliser to draw 1-1 against Lyon.
One player that will be determined to get a win over the Toffees is Allan Rodrigues de Souza, who is on loan from Liverpool. They also have ex-Sunderland defender Valentin Roberge within their ranks.
The betting angle
The Toffees have only lost one home game in Europe since 2014, defeating the likes of Lille. Wolfsburg and Sporting Lisbon.
Apollon have lost their past five group stage away fixtures and despite their positive start to their Europa League campaign, I can’t see them beating Everton on Thursday.
They’ve been hammered by Monchengladbach, Villarreal and Trabzonspor in recent seasons, and I can see a similar result at Goodison Park. Back Everton -1 at 10/11 with Betfair.
Everton v Apollon Limassol – Everton -1 handicap (10/11 Betfair)