THE EUROPA LEAGUE returns on Thursday night. Here Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism) picks out his favourite fancy from Everton's clash in Lyon.
Lyon v Everton | Thursday 2nd November 2017, 18:00 | BT Sport
Another game, and it was another loss for Everton on Sunday as they were downed 2-0 away at Leicester. The managerless Toffees have now lost seven of their opening 10 Premier League games, leaving them firmly in the relegation zone.
Lyon’s fortunes are remarkably different to Everton’s, winning four of their last four games and sitting pretty in third at the top of Ligue 1.
The French side dispatched of Everton in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park, and they’ll be confident they can continue their good form this Sunday.
I’ve already mentioned Lyon’s decent form of late, but when playing at home, they’re almost unbeatable. Since the turn of the year, Les Gones have only lost two of 23 at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, winning 16 of those.
They’re scoring an average of three goals per-game in front of their home fans, and an Everton defence that’s been notoriously suspect this season, will struggle to deal with the likes of Bertrand Traore, Memphis Depay and ex-Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz.
Whilst Lyon aren’t famous for their European pedigree, they have reached the semi-finals of both the Champions League and Europa League in the last decade, proving they’re more than happy to prioritise this competition over the league.
However, they haven’t set Group E on fire yet. They drew their first two games against Apollon Limassol and Atalanta, and only scraped past Everton in the last gameweek, but there’s clearly a lot more to come from Bruno Genesio’s side.
It’s now seven games without a win for Everton, and David Unsworth’s chances of turning his temporary role into a permanent one are looking increasingly slim.
Their 2-0 defeat to Leicester on Sunday was highlighted by the fact that over 80% of the Toffees’ 10 shots were off target.
With Unsworth looking increasingly unlikely to get the job permanently, Everton are still searching for their next manager. Sam Allardyce is currently the 5/4 favourite for the job and, along with Sean Dyche who is second favourite for the job, should sort out the mess left by Ronald Koeman.
Wolves boss Nuno Santo and former Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel are also among the frontrunners for the job, but I think Allardyce and Dyche would be better suited for the hotseat at Goodison Park.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s fairly evident that Everton are missing a striker and if Wayne Rooney, Oumar Niasse or Dominic Calvert Lewin can’t find their shooting boots, their situation doesn’t look like improving anytime soon.
The betting angles
When you look at both sides contrasting form, you have to think that the 1/2 on Lyon to win this game should be shorter. So I’m going to back them to win and chuck in Over 1.5 Goals to boost the odds to 7/10 with BetStars.
Lyon have seen Over 1.5 Goals in their last 25 league games and I think that the 7/10 is superb value.
As I said earlier, Lyon have averaged three goals per-game at home since the start of 2017, and they’ve scored three goals or more 15 times since the start of this year. Lyon to score 3+ goals is 8/5 with BetStars and the stats certainly back this one up.
Lyon v Everton – Lyon to win and Over 1.5 Goals (7/10 BetStars)