THE EUROPA LEAGUE returns on Thursday night. Here Ben Levene (@BenLevene96) picks out his favourite fancy from Everton’s clash with Lyon.
Everton v Lyon | Thursday 19th October 2017, 20:05 | BT Sport
Everton’s Europa League campaign began in the same disappointing vein as their domestic start. They lost 3-0 away at Atalanta before drawing 2-2 with Apollon Limassol last time out.
The Toffees have won just two of their last 11 matches, one of those wins was a 3-0 victory against Sunderland in the League Cup. Things are clearly yet to click for Ronald Koeman’s side.
Their general build-up has been quite slow; they’ve controlled games but have been void of quality and dynamism in the final third while they lack a focal point in attack. In the next 10 days Everton face Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester before travelling away to Lyon in the first week of November, so the pressure is mounting on Koeman to find a solution.
Lyon will be delighted with their start to the season. Their only loss has come away at PSG courtesy of two late own-goals, so they’re clearly a tricky outfit and will provide Everton with a tough test.
Bruno Genesio’s team have drawn both Europa League group games so far and have fired blank just twice in 11-matches this season. They possess a variety of attacking in Bertrand Traore, Nabil Fekir and Memphis Depay while Mariano has made a flying start in his short time in France.
The betting angles
Interestingly, in all nine games Lyon have scored this season, they’ve scored the first goal. In Everton’s last 10 games, they’ve conceded the first goal on nine occasions, with the exception again coming against Sunderland in the cup.
The same trend holds in both sides Europa League group games so far too. Lyon are 21/20 to score the first goal with Coral whereas Everton are an unwarranted odds-on in the same market. With the convincing data, we have enough of an edge to take the 21/20 on offer.
Lyon will be buoyant after their win at Monaco last weekend. We’ve already established they are tough-to-beat with the fact they’ve lost just once this season and will be after a result this Thursday in what is a very open Group E.
We can take them at 42/41 (188BET) from scratch on the Asian Handicap, this sees our stake void if the game ends level.