The Blues' play their first match in European competition for five seasons and the manager is relishing the opportunity to test his team in a group that is on a par with some of this season's Champions League matchups.
"We are excited about playing in Europe. It's where we need to test ourselves and we have worked towards it for 12 months," Martinez said at his pre-match press conference.
"The crowd will play a huge part tomorrow. We can't wait to see Goodison under the lights on a European night."
Captain Phil Jagielka reiterated his boss' sentiments, saying: "The aim was to get in Europe last season. We all watched the draw in the Finch Farm canteen and now we are excited about it starting.
"Tomorrow will be a proud moment, leading the team out at Goodison. All my friends and family will be at the match."
While the manager indicated that no new injury worries came out of the weekend win at West Bromwich Albion, Sylvain Distin is a doubt after all as he nurses a dead leg.
Samuel Eto'o is expected to fit to play, though, giving Martinez options as he plans his starting XI.
Reader Comments (43)
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1 Posted 17/09/2014 at 18:17:38
2 Posted 17/09/2014 at 18:43:17
Wolfsburg have some top players in the likes of Diego, De Bruyne, Benaglia, Luiz Gustavo and Naldo. If they play full strength, they will be a tough nut to crack.
Our squad is not as deep as most top 6 teams and I'm curious to see how much rotation Martinez employs. I suspect we will see no more than 3 or 4 changes from the WBA team with Mirallas, McCarthy and Lukaku possibly getting a rest along with maybe Baines as we have good options at LB.
3 Posted 17/09/2014 at 18:55:46
4 Posted 17/09/2014 at 19:10:19
De Bruyne is their main man, the lad is a player, their linchpin.
They have got some decent players but, if we're on our game tomorrow night, we'll win... and I think we will be. The weekend's result at West Brom, with a clean sheet, will give us confidence and we'll want to start well in this competition and get off to a flyer.
5 Posted 17/09/2014 at 19:16:15
6 Posted 17/09/2014 at 20:17:28
7 Posted 17/09/2014 at 20:17:11
8 Posted 17/09/2014 at 20:43:40
9 Posted 17/09/2014 at 20:47:53
And Olic, one of my favourite players.
10 Posted 17/09/2014 at 20:39:57
As for team selection, I don't think there will be much rotation for this one, but there will need to be for Crystal Palace on Sunday and especially Swansea on Tuesday, which is three games in six days. Throw in the Anfield derby next Saturday and it makes a fourth (massive) game in ten days.
I would expect a second XI against Swansea, and only a couple of changes for the others. The forward positions are the easiest to rotate, and substitutions are normally made in those positions anyway (although Martinez seems to have developed a Moyes-like aversion to using all three substitutes this season).
If they're fit, I do think he'll want to give game time to Besic either on Thursday or Sunday and Alcaraz on Tuesday. We could also see Garbutt and Browning on Tuesday. I've been disappointed with how little we've seen of Atsu so far, and I'm certain this will change in the next six days.
As for 'please God not Robles', Martinez's past form suggests he will play both Thursday and Tuesday. I still think it is too early to judge him, he is an FA Cup winner after all, and still very young for a goalkeeper, but this season we will find out a lot about him if Martinez does play him in all three cups.
11 Posted 17/09/2014 at 20:52:01
12 Posted 17/09/2014 at 20:51:46
13 Posted 17/09/2014 at 20:37:54
It depends what strength each manager sends on the pitch, so it's impossible to gauge our chances at this stage! That, along with being unsure how the Prem. measures up to their league, is giving me a no-win type situation.
If we win, it will be sort of expected, but if we lose it will be seen as a bit of a disaster!
14 Posted 17/09/2014 at 20:57:06
Coleman Jagielka Stones Baines
Mirallas Naismith Astu
15 Posted 17/09/2014 at 20:58:27
Coleman Stones Alcaraz (yes really!!) Garbutt
Atsu Naismith Pienaar (if fit)
Not a bad second XI and it just shows how far weÂve traveled as a club.
16 Posted 17/09/2014 at 21:23:22
Unfortunately this group is a lot tougher than the ones of Metalist Kharkiv etc. We go up against a full strength Wolfsburg with that team and we'll be lucky to draw. If I were going to rotate I'd...
Coleman Distin Stones Baines
Atsu Osman McGeady
17 Posted 17/09/2014 at 21:32:18
Eto'o, or Naismith if he isn't fit to start.
18 Posted 17/09/2014 at 22:09:03
19 Posted 17/09/2014 at 22:26:17
20 Posted 17/09/2014 at 22:40:22
Coleman Stones Jagielka Baines
Mirallas Besic McCarthy Pienaar
Subs: Robles, Lukaku, Atsu, Gibson, McGeady, Garbutt, Distin.
21 Posted 17/09/2014 at 22:46:58
22 Posted 17/09/2014 at 22:57:30
23 Posted 17/09/2014 at 23:07:59
Also, I really liked him when I saw him play for Wigan in their cup-winning side, and was genuinely pleased when we signed him.
That said, he looks a bag of nerves for us. Harold often speaks of an experienced reserve keeper and Robles getting his miles on loan. Sounds like a plan to me.
24 Posted 17/09/2014 at 23:19:02
25 Posted 17/09/2014 at 23:25:04
26 Posted 17/09/2014 at 23:40:13
and a clean sheet would do him (and us) the world of good.
I'm not at all happy with the goalie situation right now. Yep we had a nice clean sheet at the weekend but Tim Howard had very little to do until late on and quite frankly 14 shots on target in the first three games and 10 goals conceded says something.
27 Posted 18/09/2014 at 00:42:03
Every time I've seen Robles play he's looked jittery and out of place, like he's not really sure what he's doing.
28 Posted 18/09/2014 at 00:55:53
His penchant for Robles in cups does not and should not equal a start in our first home European match in five years. Howard needs to be in. By the time Swansea rolls around, who knows what we will see but for Wolfsburg and Crystal Palace, I think he sticks with those mentioned above... for better or worse!
29 Posted 18/09/2014 at 01:50:23
First time back in Europe Â— play the strongest XL!
30 Posted 18/09/2014 at 02:37:22
Stones had a look on his face that said "I'm trying here!" And yes, Barry and McCarthy did a lot more defensively but were both guilty of some shocking mistakes. It was only a profligate West Brom attack that stopped it being another two-all draw or worse.
However, we look awesome going forward, which is why I can't wait!
31 Posted 18/09/2014 at 02:26:23
I think the hardest decision might be Stones or Distin, but I think we'll see Distin against CP perhaps.
Hibbert - Stones or Distin? - Jagielka - Baines
Mirallas - Besic - Barry - Atsu
Subs: Robles, Coleman, Garbutt, Gibson, Pienaar, Lukaku
Likely subs are Gibson for Besic (or vice versa), Pienaar or Lukaku for Atsu depending on whether we're winning (Lukaku if we're not), and Garbutt for Baines to rest him (unless it's very tight).
Not sure if Gibson, Pienaar are fit, if not that would bring McCarthy and McGeady onto the bench, respectively, else we are leaving out:
McCarthy, McGeady, Distin, Garbutt + kids
If any players in the normal 11+6 have any fatigue or niggles, they should automatically be left out with a view to Sunday and week Saturday.
But who knows, it's all about how the manager sees it and senses his players, and what he wants. We certainly can't afford to throw such an important game, a draw would be a decent first result, a win just lovely.
32 Posted 18/09/2014 at 02:52:10
33 Posted 18/09/2014 at 03:40:43
Ah to be with the smell of beer, hotdogs and horse sh1t as I head up Goodison Rd and under the floodlights .... enjoy it lads ... and sing out your hearts and let them know we're back ...
34 Posted 18/09/2014 at 03:42:07
Wolfsburg is a big game so I foresee Howard in goal and Robles getting a game at Swansea next week. Atsu and Eto’o to start with options on the bench. We could see Osman and Gibson in the middle. Should make interesting viewing. 2-0 will be very handy.
35 Posted 18/09/2014 at 04:03:37
If we can get three wins (2 from home and 1 away) then that should be enough.
Looking forward to the Europa League, very happy Everton have another chance at silverware.
36 Posted 18/09/2014 at 05:36:53
In a normal year I wouldn't expect to see much of Atsu or Besic before Nov/Dec. It's all about understanding our system and the boss likes to give them a certain number of sessions at the Farm before bringing them on for the odd 10 minutes here and there. By the end of Jan into Feb they will hopefully be fully integrated.
Starting tonight, this is not a normal year but I can't see him taking too many chances. There's is also the fact that all the experienced players from last season, quite rightly, think they've earned the right to play. Let's hope they have a good night.
37 Posted 18/09/2014 at 07:01:02
38 Posted 18/09/2014 at 07:52:51
After watching the European matches over the last few nights I am desperate for the Blues to get involved, there is just a totally different feeling in the air at night games, especially European games under the floodlights at Goodison.
I think we will all see come kick-off time tonight that all the naysayers who deride the Europa League will be wrong, the atmosphere will be rocking and the knowledge of getting the important win in the first match will count extra.
Let's face it Everton v Wolfsburg sounds like more of a Champions League occasion than Liverpool v Ludogorets.
We know that top 4 is probably out of bounds until further investment comes in to the club so I aim to make every enjoyable minute of our European nights worthy.
39 Posted 18/09/2014 at 06:43:49
40 Posted 18/09/2014 at 08:02:27
German football is far more competitive than the Premier League now, in fact everything about German football is what English football should aspire to be, from how to treat the fans to how to properly coach players.
41 Posted 18/09/2014 at 08:52:22
42 Posted 18/09/2014 at 11:09:43
44 Posted 18/09/2014 at 17:32:09
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