Europa League Preview
Aiden McGeady's experience of the Russian league could get him the nod to start against Krasnodar
In the thick of the first congested part of the fixture list, Everton have made the long trip to southern Russia to face a tricky Europa League match against FK Krasnodar looking for a result that would enhance their standing in Group H.
The 4-1 win over Wolfsburg, the stand-out result of the season so far, means that the Blues come into the second round of games as group leaders armed with the knowledge that a draw or a win would keep them on course for the second phase.
Though he will be forced into changes from the side that started the Anfield derby on Saturday by injuries to Kevin Mirallas and James McCarthy, this game will also give some indication as to how Roberto Martinez will approach the away fixtures in the Europa League and to what extent he will leverage his squad.
The sweeping changes he made at Swansea City in the League Cup last week met with fairly disastrous results so it's unlikely he will disrupt things too much. But with Ryan Ledson, Luke Garbutt and Tyias Browning all making the trip, there is scope to provide some of the younger players with valuable experience in Continental football.
McCarthy's absence, due to quad muscle fatigue according to his manager, points to another potential starting berth for Muhamed Besic, Darron Gibson, or both in central midfield, while Aiden McGeady will likely attempt to fill the void left by Mirallas with his experience of having played in the Russian League.
Christian Atsu and Bryan Oviedo are also in the mix for the wide positions, giving the manager a number of options when it comes to the forward areas of his line-up.
Samuel Eto'o, too, spent time in Russia with Anzhi Makhachkala and with Martinez more or less confirming that Romelu Lukaku will play in both of the next two matches before the international break in an attempt to get him close to 100% fitness, it does open up the possibility of the two strikers starting together for the first time.
Much will depend on how adventurous Martinez feels but Krasnodar's impressive record at home during the qualifying rounds suggests that the solid defensive performance from the weekend will need to be carried through if Everton are to come away from the Kuban Stadium with any kind of result.
The Russians are an attacking side boasting three Brazilians in the form of Ari, Wanderson and Joãozinho who scored 8 goals and conceded none on home turf, including a 3-0 victory over Real Sociedad that helped them qualify for the group phase. And their 1-1 draw at Lille a fortnight ago was also a statement of intent that they could be a dark horse in the group. Kick-Off is 8pm Moscow Time (5pm BST)
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Reader Comments (33)
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1 Posted 02/10/2014 at 06:41:19
I think most fans will settle for a point.
2 Posted 02/10/2014 at 06:53:09
3 Posted 02/10/2014 at 07:39:47
There is only so long fans want to read good talk, it's about time we saw better performances, not just from McGeady and the defence but the likes of Lukaku needs to start looking like a striker that's alive! For heaven's sake, it's October 2 now, we are no longer in pre-season so we don't want to keep hearing about a lack of fitness.
If Rom or any of the others are not fit then stick them in the reserves for a few games and tell them they don't play until they start looking capable of doing basic things, which in Lukaku's case is trapping a ball and then moving off the ball and looking interested. Too often with Lukaku, games pass him by, whether you're out of position or not. He's a young lad, he should be dragging himself into the game.
A point tonight would be deemed an okay result.
4 Posted 02/10/2014 at 08:20:04
5 Posted 02/10/2014 at 08:32:44
6 Posted 02/10/2014 at 08:53:01
I'm usually positive but I'm afraid I can only see a defeat here. I expect RM to go very defensive in hope of frustrating their fans and getting a goal from set play.
3-1 I'm afraid with Atsu and McGeady getting loads of stick.
7 Posted 02/10/2014 at 09:25:40
8 Posted 02/10/2014 at 09:31:49
From what I've seen of him, he looks a lot fitter and has more footballing nous than Lukaku and McGeady combined.
The later being a total waste of a shirt for the majority of the time.
9 Posted 02/10/2014 at 09:28:12
Browning Jagielka Stones Garbutt
McGeady Gibson Besic Atsu
I would also like Oviedo, Ledson and Eto'o to get game time.
It will be tough but I think that team should have enough quality to win.
10 Posted 02/10/2014 at 09:54:17
11 Posted 02/10/2014 at 09:51:22
"I will always be interested in Tom in terms of the experiences that I had with him. That will never change. Tom is going to be one of the best midfielders in the England camp,"Â said Martinez.
Solely his age and that he needs to be used sparingly. If he plays 60 mins today and 30 at Man Utd, he’s still playing a full game which is largely how I expect Martinez to use him Â– starting or coming on in 90% of matches but rarely doing a full 90 mins.
Interestingly, with regards to the youngsters and a quick google of Ledson, I just found this article.
http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/509655/Roberto-Martinez-reveals-why-Man-Utd-rejected-Everton-s-bid-for-Tom-Cleverley. Extract below:
"I know the player inside-out but ten months in football is an eternity. Anything could happen in that time.
"I can’t say we are going to be after him. We’ve got two or three young players at Everton who might come through and take their opportunity Â– Liam Walsh, Ryan Ledson, Kieran Dowell Â– and they would fit into the squad."
Walsh is due to sign a professional three-year contract when he turns 17 on Monday.
Referring to two players that Martinez has high hopes for in coming through in CM that we’re all aware of in Ledson and Dowell.
Walsh I’ll admit is one that I wasn’t aware of as a potential player breaking through. Anyone seen anything of the lad and rate him?
12 Posted 02/10/2014 at 09:58:08
13 Posted 02/10/2014 at 10:13:09
That said, I'd like to see Atsu come in for Mirallas rather than Ossie or Naismith shifted out wide.
Another Melbourne-based Toffee here. I'm off to bed at 8pm to get up for this at 2. Better be worth it! Almost certainly won't be.
14 Posted 02/10/2014 at 10:51:00
15 Posted 02/10/2014 at 11:07:22
So it's one max for us then... Browning.
16 Posted 02/10/2014 at 11:05:47
Don't you just love technology!
17 Posted 02/10/2014 at 11:34:03
I still remember Coleman being thrown in vs Benfica. Out of position and torn a new one by Ze Maria. I know he had a serious injury after, but I always wonder if it held back Seamus before his breakthrough.
We're in a strong position at the moment in the group, so a draw would be a good result. Get qualified for the next round before we play the youngsters.
18 Posted 02/10/2014 at 12:18:33
As mentioned above, it's now October and World Cup weariness should be long forgotten. Every club seems to have half their team unavailable so comes the time we should judge by results and not the verbals that accompany them.
19 Posted 02/10/2014 at 12:42:28
20 Posted 02/10/2014 at 13:07:55
Browning - Stones - Alcaraz - Baines
Besic - Barry
Atsu - Naismith - McGeady
I would like to see Garbutt or Oviedo for Baines, Gibson for Barry, ideally after 45-60 mins (score line depending). A win here would see us go clear at the top of the group and give us an opportunity to blood youngsters further down the line of the competition.
21 Posted 02/10/2014 at 13:14:36
22 Posted 02/10/2014 at 13:12:10
23 Posted 02/10/2014 at 13:08:24
After watching the god awful game in Basel yesterday, I think a good display by us, win, lose, or draw, will go a long way in cementing an already excellent reputation on Âforeign fieldsÂ.
I will be watching the game here in Canada live at 12 noon. Best of luck, you Blues, both on and off the field, especially our travelling support, who I am sure will be warmly applauded by ALL of our players at the end.
24 Posted 02/10/2014 at 13:26:25
Let's just see what phenomenal tactics the smooth talking Spanish barsteward unleashes.
25 Posted 02/10/2014 at 13:33:52
This link from 2012 seems to suggest it's "average":
I hope Martinez goes for the jugular and plays a strong side and then subs out the players who need the rest. If we can secure our place in the next round early then we can effectively play a B team in the remaining games.
26 Posted 02/10/2014 at 14:09:50
Browning Stones Jagielka Oviedo
Atsu Osman McGeady
27 Posted 02/10/2014 at 14:18:44
I don't know whats wrong with Kone. Are we ever going to see him get fit again and pull on the shirt?
28 Posted 02/10/2014 at 13:43:02
This is a "men only" game where McCarthy will be sorely missed. Gibbo is tough but will surely not cope with the speed of their Brazilian attackers and I wouldn't want to start with Ossie.
To be honest, this match has arrived at a bad moment and we can only hope that Roberto successfully shuffles the pack.
29 Posted 02/10/2014 at 15:11:51
Anyway, tonight. I think he’ll mix the team up a bit but that doesn’t necessarily mean loads of kids. Eto’o, Gibson, Osman and Hibbert hardly come into that category
30 Posted 02/10/2014 at 15:24:14
I'm feeling more positive than many others, I'm looking for a win, not a draw.... hope Roberto is more positive than you lot!!
31 Posted 02/10/2014 at 15:30:43
32 Posted 02/10/2014 at 16:00:44
34 Posted 02/10/2014 at 15:32:18
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