EVERTON vs OLYMPIQUE LYON
Everton vs. Olympique Lyon, you would expect this to be a clash for the first place in a Europa League group? But it`not. It`s more like one of the last chances for each team to make amends with their fans. Thursday match is their first encounter in a European competition. The fixture begins at 19:05 GMT, at Goodison Park.
Everton is currently bottom of their Europa League group. The Toffees have only one point after a clear defeat against Atlanta, three to nill, and a dramatic draw on their home turf with Apollon Limassol. So you will expect to go against Lyon with all their powers, but Ronald Koeman has a difficult choice to make.
His players have also been struggling in the Premier League, with only one win in the last six matches, and this weekend they will face Arsenal, so the Dutch manager could look to rotate his squad. Furthermore, he is unable to use several key players due to injury. Seamus Coleman, Ramiro Funes Mori, Yannick Bolasie, Ross Barkley and Aaron Ramsey are all sidelined.
Thing looks dire for Everton, but the French side will be arriving at Goodison Park without some of their best players. According to L`Equipe, Mariano Diaz, who scored 7 goals for Lyon this season, and Ferland Mendy, who has one assist in his last match, will watch the game against the Toffees from the sideline. Also, Pape Cheikh Diop, Clément Grenier and Jérémy Morel won`t be in the starting XI.
But this doesn`t mean that Bruno Génésio`s squad isn`t looking for victory Thursday evening. Lyon has only 16 points in Ligue 1 after nine matches, and their situation in Europa League is even worst, with only two points from two matches. So they need to win against Rooney`s squad if they want to keep their fans happy.
Everton is without a win in the last three fixtures, so the pressure is high on Koeman's players before this Europa League encounter with Lyon. Being last in Group E, a victory against the French is their single option, but this will not be a walk in a park. This will be a very difficult encounter and each outcome is possible. NetBet is offering odds of 2.55 for Toffees to win and 2.70 for Olympique Lyon while for a draw the odds are 3.45.