In the space of 10 days, Goodison Park has changed from a depressing arena of uncertainty to a place of tentative hope. A week back, Everton were the bogey side teams were craving to face. In the space of a few days, the scenario at Merseyside looks different.
After an active summer where the club spent a fortune to bring in world famous talents, the club was expected to have a crack at the top six. Things turned horrific as Everton were beaten by sides both above and below their quality.
As their form slumped down through a never-ending spiral, it saw the hammer fall on their ex-boss Ronald Koeman. Koeman’s sacking did little to change the club’s fortunes as they became the league’s bashing boys.
Even in the Europa League, five straight defeats in the group stage condemned the side to a rock bottom finish and European humiliation coupled with domestic crisis meant that the summer that promised so much had faded away into the dark dearth of the desert.
However, as the fans and pundits stood watching last week, everybody anticipated a tough clash once again for the Toffees, when they squared up against fellow struggling side West Ham United.
A Wayne Rooney show was put on display as the Englishman turned back the clock to his former days of glory. A stunning hattrick including a goal from his own half was enough to see Everton demolish the Hammers 4-0 on the night.
As the Toffees were enjoying a rare success story in the league, further good news came bouncing their way in the form of a confirmation by the Everton board that the Toffees had secured the signing of Sam Allardyce as their manager.
Big Sam has become a specialist of sorts in the league when it comes to saving teams from relegation having done it with Sunderland and Crystal Palace in the previous two seasons.
He had a good start to his Toffees career by beating Huddersfield Town 2-0 and will be hoping to consolidate on his start against Apollon Limassol for the inconsequential Europa League match.
Here is how he will look to line up his team for his first Europa League match.
Jordan Pickford will be expected in goal. The heart of the defence is likely to be marshalled by Mason Holgate and Michael Keane.
The right-back position will be monitored again by Jonjoe Kenny with Cuco Martina at left back.
A midfield quartet of Nikola Vlašić on the right, Ademola Lookman on the left with Tom Davies and Davy Klaassen in the centre will be expected for Everton.
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