Europa League Preview
Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman will be assessed for the possibility of making a long-awaited return to action
Having done the hard part in some style last week in Switzerland, Everton return to Goodison Park for what should be the formality of a second leg against Young Boys.
The Blues bring home a 4-1 lead from the first leg and, should they need them to come into play, four away goals while the Swiss side will likely come to Merseyside having thrown any caution to the wind in the hope of rescuing the tie.
Roberto Martinez has to balance avoiding complacency with the need to prepare for the trip to Arsenal on Sunday, so while there could be changes — one of them enforced at the back by John Stones's suspension — he will likely keep the core of his recent starting XI intact.
Sylvain Distin is fit again and available and will vie with Antolin Alcaraz for a place in defence alongside Phil Jagielka. Meanwhile, Martinez has already hinted that Tim Howard will continue in goal despite his nightmare against Leicester and the opportunity to offer more experience to Joel Robles.
Bryan Oviedo tweaked a hamstring in Bern last week and joins Tony Hibbert and Aiden McGeady on the injured list and Aaron Lennon is cup-tied having already played in the competition for Tottenham, while Christian Atsu is ruled out with a virus.
On the big plus side, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar are both finally in contention for some playing time, with the latter and Kevin Mirallas really the only players capable of adding real width in Atsu and McGeady's absence.
Up front, both Steven Naismith and Romelu Lukaku could do with a rest if the manager decides to start with Arouna Kone, while a low-pressure game could be the ideal forum for Ross Barkley to express himself and regain some composure in front of the home fans.
A three-goal lead should be unassailable but a professional performance aimed at winning this game to help build confidence ahead of the trip to the Emirates is still in order.
Kick off: 8.05pm
Referee:S. Johannesson (Swe)
Quotes sourced from ToffeeWeb Match Reports
Reader Comments (70)
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1 Posted 26/02/2015 at 07:44:06
2 Posted 26/02/2015 at 07:52:15
On a serious note. I think we can score a few but as you say a draw would be good. Win even better especially with the Arsenal game coming up. Arsenal looked poor last night apparently. DidnÂt see the game. Could be an opportune moment to sneak a victory at Emirates.
3 Posted 26/02/2015 at 08:04:24
That said, they do have goals in their lineup and we have goals to give away in ours!
4 Posted 26/02/2015 at 08:08:24
5 Posted 26/02/2015 at 09:18:38
6 Posted 26/02/2015 at 09:25:00
7 Posted 26/02/2015 at 09:47:00
Leave the negativity and pessimism at home and get behind your so called beloved team until the final whistle blows!
I hope he plays the same line up as last week, keeps it tight for first fifteen then start playing them off the park an get the killer goals needed.
I see this tie as far from over with the chances they missed and the current home form it could be a very difficult game!
8 Posted 26/02/2015 at 09:50:06
9 Posted 26/02/2015 at 10:21:15
IÂd like to see Kone get a game, Martinez tells us what a good player he is yet doesnÂt play him even when heÂs fit. Martinez must be getting a cut from KoneÂs salary to put him on the bench.
10 Posted 26/02/2015 at 10:35:28
11 Posted 26/02/2015 at 10:34:16
12 Posted 26/02/2015 at 10:41:16
But should the unthinkable happen then I think BK will need to give Delta taxis a ring, and book a one way cab for RM.
13 Posted 26/02/2015 at 10:45:43
14 Posted 26/02/2015 at 10:56:52
15 Posted 26/02/2015 at 10:53:43
Would look to play Barkley deeper, Naismith where he is at his best, behind the striker and Baines on the left of an attacking 3. He wonÂt cut inside at all and will give Lukaku the best chance to make up for Sunday early.
Coleman, Alcaraz, Jakielka, Garbutt
McCarthy, Barkley, Naismith
Mirallas, Lukaku, Baines
But what do I know?
16 Posted 26/02/2015 at 11:13:56
17 Posted 26/02/2015 at 11:20:18
This will be make or break for Tim Howard tonight because whoever plays in our goal will surely get a serious workout, if he plays a blinder then he has some future here but I wouldnÂt bet on him having a blinder.
19 Posted 26/02/2015 at 11:35:43
20 Posted 26/02/2015 at 11:52:16
21 Posted 26/02/2015 at 11:43:44
22 Posted 26/02/2015 at 11:49:20
Even though the focus should be on banishing all talk of relegation, the managerÂs credibility is being challenged and defeat tonight will add to the clamour for his removal.
My forecast is for a 2-0 victory to be followed by a surprise win on Sunday. Who says I canÂt be positive ?
23 Posted 26/02/2015 at 11:54:43
But I really hope he does but that the 5 officials and multi tv.s donÂt spot it.
24 Posted 26/02/2015 at 12:06:29
25 Posted 26/02/2015 at 12:18:15
Kone to start and Gibson to get 30 minutes.
I would like to see both Kone and Lukaku up front but that will never happen.
26 Posted 26/02/2015 at 12:26:11
27 Posted 26/02/2015 at 12:38:07
If IÂm committing my hard pressed time and hard earned money then surely the least I can expect is a strong team and a convincing win.
28 Posted 26/02/2015 at 12:53:57
29 Posted 26/02/2015 at 12:51:18
30 Posted 26/02/2015 at 13:26:31
You have obviously got access to some illegal drugs, stop now before they damage your health. A surprise win on Sunday more like a miracle, as after last nights debacle they will be wanting to get a good result. And when your looking for a good result who better to play than Everton.
31 Posted 26/02/2015 at 13:41:52
32 Posted 26/02/2015 at 14:17:06
ThatÂs what in effect we have, 2-0 to them at half time and iÂll be bricking it.
If I was their manager and watched us on Sunday I would fancy having half a chance on that display.
34 Posted 26/02/2015 at 14:22:02
35 Posted 26/02/2015 at 14:24:05
36 Posted 26/02/2015 at 14:36:49
Seriously considering not watching it on telly either
Funny that the posters in the Lower Gwladys for the home leg had Stones on them.....doh!
37 Posted 26/02/2015 at 14:38:29
Looking forward to an open game really, theyÂll be looking for an early goal so I expect Barkley to be given the freedom of Goodison tonight.
38 Posted 26/02/2015 at 14:50:11
Yes, you are being positive there mate, I just hope the same positivity is present with the team, and they donÂt fall into the Âcomplacency trapÂ thinking that they only have to turn up and go through the motions.
I am looking forward to this one all the same, and even moreso to the game at the Arse on Sunday, I hope they defend like that against us, but there again we have to score and not concede, which may not be that easy!
39 Posted 26/02/2015 at 15:42:32
Not very exciting, but realistic.
42 Posted 26/02/2015 at 16:39:48
YB have to score so they have no choice but to go out all guns blazing which suits us nicely on the break.
I reckon itÂll be another high scoring game, which sadly I wonÂt be watching as it isnÂt on until 4am here.
43 Posted 26/02/2015 at 16:54:21
Dreading this but will watch anyway, hoping to be pleasantly surprised like last week
44 Posted 26/02/2015 at 16:57:52
Still, I would sure like to see a bit discipline at the back. Different game, different circumstances require different approaches.
45 Posted 26/02/2015 at 16:55:32
46 Posted 26/02/2015 at 16:00:20
Pointless trying to pick the side because who can read RMÂs mind these days.
Only certainties are Howard, Barry and Jags.
We should be comfortable tonight but any wobbles will be severely punished.
I just hope we "manage" the game and do not go gungho like against Chelsea.
A 3-6 result would be impossible to conceive wouldnÂt it?
47 Posted 26/02/2015 at 17:02:15
I know that I am asking alot here, but could Mr. Martinez also keep one eye on the Arsenal game. And could Everton just for once this season surprise us all, and actually produce two consecutive good performances. I know that is maybe asking too much. But you never know.
Was it an Everton supporter who first coined the phrase, "pigs might fly". It must have been. And he is still waiting. COYBs.
48 Posted 26/02/2015 at 17:12:58
What could possibly go wrong .....?
49 Posted 26/02/2015 at 17:22:49
A rare as rocking horse shit win at Goosison tonight.
50 Posted 26/02/2015 at 17:34:35
I would be tempted to play Lukaku and Barkley and tell them to go for it, use this to get some confidence back, I understand the crowd being on their back and how that might affect them, but tonight try to give our boys a free pass on the negativity until half time at least. If either of the two score let them know how pleased we are. The boost in player confidence may help us in the coming weeks.
This should be a confidence booster for us, weÂre in a very strong position, letÂs worry about who we get in the next round and Arsenal on Sunday until the time when that actually comes.
Tonight, IÂm going to try and enjoy it safe in the knowledge they need 4 without reply at our place. I know about the nerves, but I just canÂt see it. ItÂs a free pass, Roberto get the shackles off and tell the players to enjoy it and maybe their confidence will return.
51 Posted 26/02/2015 at 17:34:38
They wonÂt, and no.
Whatever the reason, we are better in Europe this season and wonÂt mess up tonight. 0-4? WonÂt happen.
And RM has bought an extra season from last year.
He needs to make his own team now. Lot of old guard will go. And some others, eg Mirallas.
Hopefully, a new goalie and at least one CB. Then remake the attack. Make Europa League yer swan songs, I hope
52 Posted 26/02/2015 at 17:36:36
If thereÂs one thing theyÂve not been itÂs flexible. Same players regardless of form, always Barkley or Naismith shunted out looking uncomfortable on the left and no forward passing or Âverticality in the playÂ as the football hipsters refer to it.
Anyway, trying to read between the lines of the interview, it sounded like heÂs going to start Alcaraz and possibly Kone, with maybe a bit of rotation with two away games coming up.
My guess is the team will be:
Subs: Robles, Browning, Garbutt, Besic, McCarthy, Naismith, Lukaku
Nowhere near what IÂd be going for but at a guess!
53 Posted 26/02/2015 at 18:03:54
Personally, I think IÂd want the security of a couple of MirallasÂ on the bench, actually make that three.
54 Posted 26/02/2015 at 18:12:00
Forgive my cheek.
I pretty much agree, and IÂm sure that like me there is a place somewhere for maybe Barks or ÂNuts (if theyÂre fit for selction.....)
55 Posted 26/02/2015 at 18:13:35
56 Posted 26/02/2015 at 18:23:31
58 Posted 26/02/2015 at 18:22:36
Hopefully some new faces will get a run out at least and a few will be rested with the trip to Arsenal in mind. DonÂt want to change the starting XI too much but some of the likes of Garbutt, Osman, Pienaar, Gibson, Hibbo, Atsu, Kone and Alcaraz should be getting some playing time here. Mirralas should also get a few minutes given he only came on for the last 5 on Sunday.
Will be interesting to see the line up.
59 Posted 26/02/2015 at 18:38:03
60 Posted 26/02/2015 at 18:36:08
62 Posted 26/02/2015 at 18:44:03
63 Posted 26/02/2015 at 18:40:13
65 Posted 26/02/2015 at 18:32:29
IMO Martinez went overboard with his squad rotation in the defeat to that Russian team. Did the youngsters really learn anything from a defeat? I believe that you learn more from playing alongside seasoned professionals. And actually winning football matches. So I wouldnÂt mind seeing Garbutt and maybe the under used Browning get a run out. But that is it. And it doesnÂt matter if Alcatraz gets a game. We all know what he brings to the party.
Anyhow, the moment of truth is closing in. Enjoy the match. I have a feeling that there will be goals. I fancy us to open them up. But also for us to concede. 3-2 to us. COYBs
68 Posted 26/02/2015 at 19:00:07
Everton subs: Joel, Baines, Kone, Besic, Osman, Barkley, Browning.
70 Posted 26/02/2015 at 19:00:54
Did the youngsters really learn anything from a defeat? Absolutely! In everyday life and business itÂs the defeats and failures where you learn and grow. I learned more during 2 years of a business that ultimately failed than in the 7 years of working at a successful business. Every failure is a learning experience. If you donÂt get punished for your mistakes, you ignore them and in time the damage is far worse. ThatÂs why itÂs so important to play young players, give them experience, and have them learn. ThatÂs how you grow, by falling down and getting back up.
71 Posted 26/02/2015 at 19:04:48
72 Posted 26/02/2015 at 19:04:11
73 Posted 26/02/2015 at 19:05:27
75 Posted 26/02/2015 at 19:08:10
77 Posted 26/02/2015 at 19:08:40
78 Posted 26/02/2015 at 19:12:57
79 Posted 26/02/2015 at 19:13:02
81 Posted 26/02/2015 at 19:13:09
Why spend so much time bigging this fella up only to snub him completely?
IÂm shocked by the decision not to bring Robles in also.
Roberto seems obsessed with having three midfielders of the same ilk in the central midfield.
Good to see Osman back fit though.
83 Posted 26/02/2015 at 19:18:45
84 Posted 26/02/2015 at 19:25:51
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