Everton face Cypriot side Apollon Limassol in their Europa League clash at the Goodison Park. The Toffees need to bounce back after the 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Italian outfit Atalanta in their opening Europa League fixture.
The Merseyside club will be quite confident going into the game and will look to make it a third victory in a row at home following wins against Sunderland and Bournemouth. The game against Apollon won’t be easy by any means with the Cypriot outfit having lost just one of their nine games in their domestic league. Below is Everton’s predicted lineup to face Apollon Limassol:
Maarten Stekelenburg will occupy the space between the sticks for Everton.
Mason Holgate and Ashley Williams are likely to form the heart of the defence for Everton. Everton are quite thin in terms of options in the centre-back position with Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane out injured. Holgate made some key tackles in the game against Bournemouth and looked quite comfortable while Williams too had an impeccable game against the Cherries in the weekend.
Jonjoe Kenny and Leighton Baines will be deployed at either side of the centre-backs. Both the full-backs will be expected to do well offensively against a side which might sit deep in their own half. Baines was decent defensively in the game against Bournemouth but will have to do a lot more offensively against the Cypriot side.
Idrissa Gueye is likely to form the pivot partnership along with Tom Davies with James McCarthy unlikely to be fit for the game. After putting in a shift during the weekend, Morgan Schneiderlin is likely to be rested. The onus of protecting the team on the counter will rest on Idrissa Gueye and the Senegalese will also have to not sit too deep and help the team out offensively. He will have to improve upon his passing game. Davies has had some good games in the recent past and will probably be handed the start. The youngster has bagged three assists in his last two appearances.
Up ahead, Davy Klaassen will probably occupy the central attacking midfield with Kevin Mirallas and Nikola Vlasic on either side. Klassen had a rather underwhelming and this could turn out to be a perfect game for him to get things going.
Wayne Rooney is likely to be deployed as the lone striker upfront although there will probably be a constant interchange of positions between the attacking players. With Oumar Niasse not registered in the 25-man squad for the European competition, Everton don’t have the luxury to select him despite him turning out to be the hero of the weekend’s game with two goals over the weekend.
Everton lineup: Stekelenburg, Kenny, Holgate, Williams, Baines, Gueye, Davies, Klaassen, Mirallas, Vlasic, Rooney