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Eto'o and Distin back for Thursday

by | 15/09/2014  Comments (56)  jump
Kone and Oviedo closing in on full fitness
Everton will have Samuel Eto'o and Sylvain Distin back in contention for places for the Europa League opener against Wolfsburg after both recovered from minor injuries that kept them out of the win over West Bromwich Albion.

Eto'o picked up a groin strain during his goalscoring debut as a substitute against Chelsea at the end of last month and Distin suffered a dead leg in training but Roberto Martinez expects both to be ready for Thursday.

Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo, meanwhile, continue to build their fitness and the manager says that the pair will be fully fit very soon.  

Reader Comments (56)

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Tony J Williams
1 Posted 15/09/2014 at 15:51:33
Chews on Cigar (comes back from the grave!)

I love it when a plan comes together!!!!

Liam Reilly
2 Posted 15/09/2014 at 15:51:50
Will be a very interesting team selection for Thursday. I suspect it won't be far off Saturday's starting line up because we need to get off to a good start in this competition. That would likely lead to some tinkering for the Palace home game which of course backfired last season.

Who'd be a Manager eh?

Zaid Omar
3 Posted 15/09/2014 at 16:06:43
No mention made of Steven Pienaar??? I thought that he resumed full training last week and expected him to be in squad against west brom
Amit Vithlani
4 Posted 15/09/2014 at 16:35:10
Liam #2 I suspect you may be right that given Wolfsburg are a rival we may need to have our regulars in action.

However, looking at the run of fixtures I think we do need to start rotating the squad and we do on paper have good cover in certain positions.

Besic and Gibson should be given the opportunity in Centre Mid, Atsu wide left instead of Mirallas and Eto'o upfront to give Rom more time to nurse his niggles.

Would also rotate Baines as he has put in a lot of miles for club and country and Garbutt with Oviedo as sub can provide decent cover.

I would leave Howard, Coleman, Stones, Nais and McGeady in the team as I don't fancy their replacements.

Chris Fisher
5 Posted 15/09/2014 at 16:44:03
Personally I would go for:

Coleman Stones Jagielka Baines
Besic McCarthy
Mirallas Naismith

Thomas Surgenor
6 Posted 15/09/2014 at 16:55:24
Personally IÂ’d have:

Howard (surely a keeper canÂ’t get fatigued?)
Coleman Stones Distin Garbutt
Gibson Besic
Osman Naismith Atsu

I think that should be strong enough? Yet give enough players a rest.

Brian Harrison
7 Posted 15/09/2014 at 16:56:31
Well a testing time for RM with 2 games a week becoming the norm for a while. We seem to have drawn a very tough group so not many opportunities to play the fringe players if we want to progress. So trying to pick a team to win on both Thursdays and Sundays, which competition do you prioritize or do you play the same team in both and hope that we don't pick up many injuries.
Scott Bosworth
8 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:04:36
Must win the first EL group game--partly because it's at home and partly because it's against one of the better sides in the group/competition--to get off on the right foot. If we lose this one--or even drop two points with a draw--we'll be chasing points on the road for the rest of the competition for certain, and there'll be fewer and fewer opportunities to rotate the squad at all. But a win now out of the gates will take the pressure off just a bit and hopefully allow us to play some youngsters/returners against Krasnodar.
Jack Plant
9 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:09:56
I like that team Chris but I'm ot sure if I'd start Lukaku, I think keeping him fit for the next couple of weeks will be crucial to our season and I'd like to see how Eto'o does in European Competition
Linda Morrison
10 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:11:35
I think he will play Distin on Thursday and leave Stones out for Sunday.

I would not be surprised if the rest of the team is unchanged though.I know it will be 2 games a week but as people are nearing full fitness we can do it.

Winning stops players feeling tired!

Denis Richardson
11 Posted 15/09/2014 at 16:51:46
Should not take palace at home for granted, for obvious reasons. However, we also need to lay down a marker and if we're to win the group the home EL games are key.

I'd play the strongest side we have with only very little tinkering, knowing we can bring off 3 players if the game is looking good for us.

I'd certainly give Besic his first start and rest Barry or McCarthy. Difficult to say who to change up front, if Eto is fit then he could give Rom a break if his toe could do with a bit of rest. Then again Rom would hopefully be chomping at the bit to play in the first EL game, especially after scoring and am not sure if Eto will have 90 mins in him. Personally would start Rom and take him off after an hour. Would leave the defence as is, Distin can start against Palace for one of Stones or Jags.

Wolfsburg are no mugs so just the one change for me. The game is at home so no travel involved, those who play will have almost three days to recover before the game on Sunday. Would then give a few a rest for the Swansea game (would like to win it but at the end of the day the league cup is the least of the ones we want and we need the players fresh for the derby).

Shane Corcoran
12 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:18:20
Why oh why is the Swansea game not on the Wednesday?

The EL game has been scheduled for this Thursday a long time now which meant we were going to be playing on the Sunday.

Dave Pritchard
13 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:13:05
It is a real conundrum and will be very interesting to see how RM plays these next 2 fixtures. Must be time to rotate the squad with the fixtures coming thick and fast. A lot will depend on fitness but presuming the niggles are cleared up I would probably play Sammy on Thursday up front with Rom on the bench. Definitely give game time to Gibbo and Besic with Barry and McCarthy having a rest. Baines and Coleman will probably play in both games.
Karl Jones
14 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:45:44
Shane#12..It was actually moved back from the Wednesday. I understood initially it was to be Televised by Sky. But thats now not the case. Guess who are on?..The Redshite yet again (H v Middlesbrough). That will be every one of their games televised Live on Sky so far this season. .They must have a free Sky subscription included in their Season Tickets.
Aidy Dews
15 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:46:55
Come Thursday I think heÂ’ll stick with the current back four and let them get some games together and gain some confidence as a unit and build on Saturday’s clean sheet.

I think weÂ’ll see changes in midfield though. I think Barry will either be rested Thursday or Sunday to keep him fresh ahead of the two big games against Liverpool & Man Utd. The Swansea game ahead of that we could see even more changes, maybe even Kone might make the squad for that one.

Phil Roberts
16 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:59:12
Karl #14 - it is because their supporters only know how to watch from the pub/home. Both of their Season Ticket holders go straight to the ground after the plane has landed
Raymond Fox
17 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:42:29
I would like Roberto to pick his best team for this match, but I think its anybody's guess who he will indeed select, difficult ain't it!

If we go all out for the Euro title, I think we can forget a high finish in the Prem. the extra games will start to tell on the squad when we get to the final 1/4 of the league season and that's not mentioning injuries.

We had an example on Sunday why the top 4 continues to be out of our reach,
Utd mullered QPR, why, because they have spent an absolute fortune to bring 4 or 5 world class players into their squad, and it didn't half show!

Mark Rankin
18 Posted 15/09/2014 at 18:05:50
What about new stadium?
James Stewart
19 Posted 15/09/2014 at 18:18:44
Great to have EtoÂ’o back.

Distin not so much. IÂ’m a firm believer that centre back is not a position you want to be rotating or changing every match unless you absolutely have to. Stones/Jagielka partnership looked a hell of a lot more solid than the Distin/Jagielka one so why break it up after keeping your first clean sheet?! To do so would be utter stupidity.

Peter Cummings
20 Posted 15/09/2014 at 17:56:09
Great news about our Â’walking woundedÂ’ especially Brian Oviedo who was showing excellent progress until his leg break, as for Kone he still has to show most sceptical Evertonians that he was worth the price we paid for his (lack of) services so far,
Distin and EtoÂ’o will also be welcomed back, as will Pienaar,and Barkley will be an added bonus if his fitness can be assured in time for the tough season ahead, also looking forward to Atsu showing what he can do, Besics two late cameos werenÂ’t the best adverts for his rumoured skills, but all in all very good news for the faithful.
Ajay Gopal
21 Posted 15/09/2014 at 18:08:27
My teams for the next 4 games:

Wolfsburg (Home, Thursday, 18th)

Coleman Jagielka Distin Baines
McCarthy Barry
Mirallas Naismith McGeady

SUBS: Robles, Stones, Oviedo, Gibson, Besic, Osman, Eto
(Oviedo, Osman, Eto)

Crystal Palace (Home, Sunday, 21st)

Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Baines
Gibson Barry
Mirallas Naismith Atsu

SUBS: Robles, Distin, McCarthy, Besic, Osman, Lukaku, Kone
(Besic, Kone, Osman)

Swansea (Away, Tuesday, 23rd)

Hibbert Stones Alcaraz Oviedo
Besic McCarthy
McGeady Osman Atsu

SUBS: Howard, Jagielka, Coleman, Baines, Mirallas, Lukaku, Naismith
(Mirallas, Lukaku, Naismith)

Liverpool (Away, 27th, Saturday)

Coleman Jagielka Stones Baines
McCarthy Barry
Mirallas Naismith McGeady

SUBS: Robles, Distin, Oviedo, Atsu, Besic, Eto, Osman
(Atsu, Eto, Osman)

If we win 3 of these (Wolfsburg, Palace & Liverpool) and lose 1 (Swansea), I will be a happy man!

Rob Halligan
22 Posted 15/09/2014 at 18:38:23
Jack #9, Eto'o is probably the most experienced player in our squad in terms of playing in Europe, so hopefully he should know a thing or two about European competition. Denis #11, I'm pretty certain Swansea will also play a second string team, so hopefully we should have enough in reserve to see them off.

Finally, slightly off topic, regarding RS fans. Was on the train back from West Brom which pulled into lime st. about 7.40pm, probably less than 25 minutes after their game finished. The queue for the London virgin train was enormous, full of RS. About 75-100 blues let rip with "Never felt more like singing the blues". The pinkies weren't very happy with this. There was a strong police presence in the station who rounded us all up and actually escorted us out the station. There were loads of pinkies on the concourse as well and even more outside. So much for staying till the end when your team is only losing 1-0!!!

Dick Brady
23 Posted 15/09/2014 at 18:47:25
Wolfsburg have started their season like we did. In the first 3 games they have drawn 2 and lost 1.

So their form is not terrific but if we underestimate them and play a weakened side we will regret it. If Roberto has it in mind to play Robles, Alcaraz, Gibson and others we will come unstuck.

Kevin De Bruyne is a great player and he put both Mirallas and Lukaku to shame at the World Cup for Belguim. De Bruyne alone will be a handful but add to that an experienced striker like Ivica Olic and that's a dangerous team to play against.

And you know Nicklas Bendtner is bound to come back and haunt an English team. Roberto has to take Wolfsburg seriously and play his best side.

Shane Corcoran
24 Posted 15/09/2014 at 19:27:53
Liverpool don't concern me nor does who's on the box.

If our game was down for Wednesday, does anyone know why it would be moved forward so that we have about 50 hours recovery from the Palace game?

Jack Plant
25 Posted 15/09/2014 at 19:27:52
Agreed Rob, hopefully that experience can make the difference. I think we've got to stick with the same back 4 for a while, we need to build some defensive confidence again and that surely will only come from consistency, even if it does mean playing Jags slightly out of position.
Rob Halligan
26 Posted 15/09/2014 at 19:35:50
Agree with your back four statement, Jack. A solid back four will certainly breed confidence, and whilst a team may not always win chances are it won't lose if a defence does its job. Three of our back four from last Saturday may not have played that many games in club European competition, but they have played international football as well which should tell them how European teams might play.
Jim Bennings
27 Posted 15/09/2014 at 21:20:59
Surely we need to give Besic the start and also Atsu.

We need to see if Besic is nearly ready for the big time and well, Wolfsburg is a big test.

Atsu should also start with Mirallas on the bench other than that maybe just Eto'o ahead of Rom but I wouldn't mess with too much.

Good goal by Diame.

Would have thought Martinez would have been more interested in him than Cleverley??

James Morgan
28 Posted 15/09/2014 at 22:16:45
Ajay, I'm not sure it can work out that simple. Injuries and suspensions occur, form and tactical changes.
Kevin Tully
29 Posted 15/09/2014 at 22:26:42
Shane (#24) – I have read Everton would have been offered the choice to play on the Wednesday. They have probably opted for the Tuesday because of the early kick-off against Liverpool the following Saturday.
Trevor Lynes
30 Posted 15/09/2014 at 22:52:39
Wolfsburg are a very good side and they will be battling near the top of the Bundesliga later in the season. It will be a difficult baptism in our first match in Europe for years and a real indication of how we will fare against foreign opposition. The Germans will be really fit and organized so we will need a strong side if we are to progress.

Osman on the bench could be a key player if he is needed with 30 minutes to go. He has done well each time he has been brought on. He is no longer a 90-minute player at Premier League pace but his cameo appearances have made a difference.

I would not be looking further than the Wolfsburg game at the moment.

Anthony Burke
31 Posted 15/09/2014 at 23:40:32
Personally IÂ’d play Hibbert and Garbutt as full backs with Stones and Distin and a midfield of Atsu, Gibson, Besic, Oviedo if fit and EtoÂ’o with Naismith but IÂ’d keep a strong bench if things are not working out. ThatÂ’s my opinion, IÂ’m ready for criticism COYB!!!!
Andy Meighan
32 Posted 16/09/2014 at 08:19:57
Rob (#22), It doesnÂ’t take 25 minutes to get from the Big House to Lime Street... IÂ’d say about 5 tops.
Tom Bowers
33 Posted 16/09/2014 at 13:53:05
Fingers crossed but the Blues may soon have an abundance of riches available for the first time in a long time with the exception of Ross Barkley. This bodes well for the bunch of games ahead with Europa, Carling Cup, Manure and Redshite coming up.

We all hope that clean bills of health remain with all players so that RM can have a full compliment to work with for the months ahead. Nothing worse than having some key players going down ahead of important games.

One may say that all clubs have this dilemma but the ’’poorer’’ clubs just don’t have the depth to cope; however, I believe Everton finally have a better depth than they have had for years.

Mike Chambers
34 Posted 16/09/2014 at 19:59:13
Good to have more bodies available, but hope team stays the same. No need to change a winning team.
Martin Faulkner
35 Posted 16/09/2014 at 20:55:18

Class preview of this match over on GOT

Mark Griffiths
36 Posted 16/09/2014 at 21:42:18
Talking of Europe, I see the RS are back to their spawny ways! Jammy shits!
Alex Trevalyn
37 Posted 16/09/2014 at 22:00:13
Fuck them ballbags from across the park, bring on yer Wolfsburg.... COYB
Gary Mortimer
38 Posted 16/09/2014 at 22:09:02
I guess we can all expect the ref to give us a dubious last-minute penalty on Thursday as well.

I foolishly said to my lad when I heard that Ludo Razgd had managed to equalise that there was still a few minutes for the dodgy penalty... should have kept my big mouth shut. Hopefully that's their massive slice of luck for September used up.

I'd like a last minute Steven Gerrard own goal to make it LFC 0 EFC 3, a week on Saturday please.

Martin Farrington
39 Posted 16/09/2014 at 23:38:46
Personally I'd go for :-

Gidman Higgins Hurst HHinchcliffe
Ball Kendall Young
Lineker Dean Latchford

Subs: Howard, Stevens, Baines, Steven, Sheedy.

Or is that too controversial ?

Iain Love
40 Posted 17/09/2014 at 00:12:44
Lot of decent comments on here, myself I'd like to see Besic for Barry [ wasn't that why we bought him ? ] maybe Atsu for McGeady and start with Eto'o to give him some game time.

We must start well in this and at home to one of the better teams too many changes might be counter productive.

Colin Glassar
41 Posted 17/09/2014 at 00:26:17
Great team, Mark, personally I'd go for Labone over Higgins, Pejic over Hinchcliffe and Davy Thomas to supply Latch and Dixie.
David Ellis
42 Posted 17/09/2014 at 02:08:22
Martin 39 - in the name of mid-70s squad rotation, how about:

Sergeant B Wright McNaughton McLaughlin
Telfer Buckley Bernard Connolly
Pearson Smallman

Andrew Clare
43 Posted 17/09/2014 at 07:59:55
Martin # 39
You left out the great Ray Wilson!
Derek Knox
44 Posted 17/09/2014 at 08:16:01
Hello Fellow TW'ers, does anyone know if our game is being televised, and if so, which channel?

I will actually be in Scotland then, but should still be able to get some sort of viewing opportunity if it's on any of the recognised ITV2, 3 or 4.

Thanks in anticipation!

I just hope we set up for this one properly, as although they have experienced similar results to our own, I think that belies their true potential, and on the day they can be a force to be reckoned with, they also have some very good players. I am looking forward to it, but must admit with trepidation, our defence still worries me on occasions.

Dave Pritchard
45 Posted 17/09/2014 at 09:18:02
Derek, after tomorrow you might not be able to get normal TV in Scotland anyway.
Duncan McDine
46 Posted 17/09/2014 at 09:24:23
Derek, ITV4 have the Spurs game at 6 then ours at 8.05
Duncan McDine
47 Posted 17/09/2014 at 09:25:59
Ajay 21 - I have a feeling that we’ll see many more changes to the line-ups than you’ve got. Your teams look much like how I’d have expected OFM to have sent them out... but Roberto likes to switch players and keep them fresh.

I’d personally like to have a good look at Gibbo, Garbutt, Atsu and Eto’o who will hopefully all play a part in the coming weeks. It’d also be great to see Oviedo back in the squad, and finally get a proper look at Kone. I just hope the usual suspects aren’t crocked before they’ve had a chance to make an impact.

Tony J Williams
48 Posted 17/09/2014 at 09:57:02
I thought Steven Gerrard had changed his name by deed poll to Gerrard (pen)
Derek Knox
49 Posted 17/09/2014 at 09:53:29

Good point mate, but as I was born there, I should get Dual Nationality Status, and I can get Foreign Channels (English) on my laptop. :-)


Thanks mate, I just hope they don't let us down, as I will have a tartan horde looking on too, after I have 'bulled Everton up, as the team to watch' but then again it is US the team that will always surprise you or let you down in equal measures.

The defence still has my bum squeaking under my kilt!

Dave Pritchard
50 Posted 17/09/2014 at 10:31:05
Tony, brilliant.
Ian McDowell
51 Posted 17/09/2014 at 11:29:22
A fairly slow start for Wolfsburg this season. They have played 3 and failed to win. However their only loss was an unlucky 2-1 defeat away to champions Bayern Munich. This should be a tough start for the blues. I would like to see some changes in to keep players fresh and give some game time to squad members.

Jay Harris
52 Posted 17/09/2014 at 16:02:12
I think their only threat is Rodrigues (a Baines plus type player) and De Bruyne.

I think the wings are important in this game so I would definitely play Baines and Coleman and I would have Besic man-marking De Bruyne. That would leave SuperKev free to add to his goal tally.

I would concentrate on building up a good lead in the first leg and then put out a defensive side in the second leg.

Dave Pritchard
53 Posted 17/09/2014 at 16:21:33
Jay, I think you are being demeaning about Wolfsburg with your analysis. I don't know that much about them but they are Bundesliga not Bulgarian.

Also, it isn't two legs but a league system.

Andrew Clare
54 Posted 17/09/2014 at 16:58:04
Wolfsburg will be a tough game. German teams are of a very high quality and they have that good German mentality.

We need to be fully focused to get anything out of the match. Any mishaps in defence will be punished without fail. Apart from 3 or 4 teams in the EPL, this lot are in a different department. I hope Roberto has everybody properly prepared or else we could be in for a shock.

Also Warnock and Palace worry me. They will be set up to nick a goal and make us chase the game. We must not let this happen.

On a positive note we have the strongest squad we have had for many, many years and Eto'o looks very, very dangerous.

Jay Harris
55 Posted 17/09/2014 at 17:10:05
Dave, thanks for correcting me; I forgot this stage was a mini-league.

I wasn't demeaning the quality of Wolfsburg – just pointing out their main threat and the need for RM to put out a strong side, especially on the flanks.

Ian McDowell
58 Posted 17/09/2014 at 17:41:48
Actually Brian, I find that kind of banter amusing. I remember an RS banner years ago in Galatasaray "If you think this is hell try the Grafton on a Friday night" or something similar. Gotta laugh.

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