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Squad flies out to Ukraine

18/03/2015  Comments (60)  jump

The Everton squad flew to Ukraine today for the Europa League tie second leg against Dynamo Kyiv today but with without Kevin Mirallas who remains sidelined after picking up an injury in the first leg last week.

Steven Pienaar, Bryan Oviedo and Tony Hibbert are all still ruled out but Aiden McGeady makes the trip after spending the last few weeks out with a knee injury.

Gareth Barry, who is in the middle of a two-match domestic suspension for picking up 10 yellow cards for the season, has also flown out with the squad as has John Stones who only made the substitute's bench against Newcastle on Sunday due to a virus.

Everton squad: Howard, Jagielka, Baines, Robles, Lukaku, Coleman, McCarthy, Barry, Osman, Alcaraz, Stones, Atsu, Barkley, Besic, Kone, Naismith, McGeady, Garbutt, Browning, Griffiths, Gibson.

 

Reader Comments (60)

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Gerry Quinn
1 Posted 18/03/2015 at 14:31:32
Best of luck, boys, as long as you give 100% you will not let us down.
Callum McNab
2 Posted 18/03/2015 at 15:22:59
Well said Gerry.
Andrew Clare
3 Posted 18/03/2015 at 15:24:48
Good luck to all concerned. This will be a very tough game but if we are prepared and determined enough we will prevail. So far we have been superb on the counter in Europe so hopefully that will continue. First 30 minutes will be crucial. COYB!
Mark Andersson
4 Posted 18/03/2015 at 15:38:03
This is the acid test; realistically, we will go out. More pressure for the QPR game... lose that, and the manager should walk.

I write in half jest and hope. Hope our travelling fans have something to cheer and savour on the journey back home.

Tony J Williams
5 Posted 18/03/2015 at 16:30:28
Lets hope they weren’t flying out with Lufthansa.....
Kelvin Thomas
6 Posted 18/03/2015 at 17:44:29
Haven’t been impressed with Mirallas’ attidude of late, blessing in disguise. With Lennon cup tied I believe Atsu’s chance has finally come.
Ajay Gopal
7 Posted 18/03/2015 at 17:40:01
I would play 4-3-3:

Howard
Coleman Jagielka Alcaraz Baines
Besic Barry McCarthy
Barkley Lukaku Atsu

Rest Gibbo & Ossie for QPR. Barkley would be high on confidence and playing away from Goodison, Atsu has shown some deft touches and must be itching to play and he will provide some width.

SUBS: Joel, Stones, Garbutt, Gibson, Osman, Kone, Naismith

John Raftery
8 Posted 18/03/2015 at 18:36:05
I would definitely keep the same back four and the midfield trio of Besic, Barry and McCarthy will give us a solid base in midfield. The key is which two players play up front to support Romelu. I hope he chooses Atsu for the width he will provide and Naismith for his industry with Barkley on the bench. McGeady is in the travelling squad but I hope he is not tempted to start him in this one.
Sue Brown
9 Posted 18/03/2015 at 19:29:01
Just reading the Echo piece on tomorrowÂ’s ref Deniz Aytekin, makes Collina sound like Snow White. Apparently has a preference to card away players. Typical Everton luck! Besic be warned!
Patrick Murphy
10 Posted 18/03/2015 at 19:39:20
ItÂ’s all against us, Sue. The pitch is not a good one either apparently.

IÂ’m not sure whether the players didnÂ’t have access to train on the pitch or whether they chose not to, but itÂ’s looking like a tricky game ahead. We should really have been going there with a two-goal cushion at least. Never mind; we will have to do it the hard way as usual... Only another 22 hours to go now.

Ian Bennett
11 Posted 18/03/2015 at 19:38:27
Play the strongest side, we might rescue a disasterous season.

Robles

Coleman
Baines
Jagielka
Stones

Atsu
McCarthy
Gibson
Osman

Kone
Lukaku

Liam Reilly
12 Posted 18/03/2015 at 19:58:29
ThereÂ’s now way RM is playing 4-4-2 in this one. This is all about protecting the lead in the first half and hitting them on the counter.

I fear weÂ’ll need to score to get through as 1-0 will be enough for them. We wonÂ’t want to be going into the last 20 mins at nil-nil or there will be some big decisions to make.

Dare I say it, this could go to extra time and the dreaded penalties.

Phil Sammon
13 Posted 18/03/2015 at 19:58:26
Strangely, our most experienced player for this occasion may just be the much maligned Aiden McGeady. IÂ’d expect Martinez to start him despite his recent injury mainly because I donÂ’t think he trusts Atsu defensively. In fact, if McGeady doesnÂ’t start I still donÂ’t think it will be Atsu who comes in. I think weÂ’re likely to see a more disciplined player shoehorned into a wide midfield role. Osman or even Besic, with Naismith occupying the other flank.

My resentment of Martinez is waning after the last two games, but I still fully expect him to pick an unbalanced team lacking any sort of incisiveness. Please prove me wrong!

Brian Hennessy
14 Posted 18/03/2015 at 20:21:59
With Barca having just scored, looks like we will be the only British club left in Europe after tonight...
Bill Gall
15 Posted 18/03/2015 at 20:31:37
Barca making City look like a slow motion bunch of amateurs .Looking at Barca may be Martinez was in line for their under 12 team as philosophy coach as I do not see any of the players playing it around the back line. Messi is a one man wrecking crew.
Kim Vivian
16 Posted 18/03/2015 at 20:38:51
....and hopefully after tomorrow night as well, BH#14!
Kevin Elliott
17 Posted 18/03/2015 at 20:36:07
Good luck boys.

Come home safe and with your name in the hat for the next round.

Dave Ganley
18 Posted 18/03/2015 at 20:46:53
McCarthy, Barry and Besic? Did you actually see the games we started with those 3? Clueless is a word that springs to mind.

SundayÂ’s team looked the best balanced team for some time, Gibson and McCarthy offer us so much more than putting Besic and Barry in there and we looked more solid on Sunday than we ever did with those 3 in front of the defense.

Same team as Sunday with Atsu in for Lennon and the same positive work rate thank you very much and we shall come away with a positive result. LetÂ’s salvage something from this miserable season

COYB

Tony McNulty
19 Posted 18/03/2015 at 21:00:12
Barça are superb when they attack, but some of their defending is Robertoesque.
Michael Polley
20 Posted 18/03/2015 at 21:13:07
Good luck lads. Do us proud!!
Shaun Laycock
21 Posted 18/03/2015 at 21:18:32
4-4-1-1:

Howard

Coleman Jagielka Stones Garbutt
Naismith McCarthy Barry Baines
Barkley
Lukaku

Subs: Robles, Kone, McGeady, Alcaraz, Gibson, Atsu, Besic.

John Maddock
22 Posted 18/03/2015 at 21:23:49
IÂ’m 39 tomorrow and leaving work early to watch this match...please give me a birthday to remember. Good luck!!
Colin Glassar
23 Posted 18/03/2015 at 21:31:52
YouÂ’d think theyÂ’d have gone straight after the Newcastle game to get acclimatised to the time zone. Billy boy probably didnÂ’t want to pay the extra nights stay.
Oscar Huglin
24 Posted 18/03/2015 at 21:38:51
Well, itÂ’s official. WeÂ’re the only British team left in Europe...
Dave Rinehart
25 Posted 18/03/2015 at 22:06:16
John Maddock, go in peace and I hope you have the best birthday ever. Just donÂ’t watch Hostel on the flight over.
Matthew Salem
26 Posted 18/03/2015 at 22:17:58
I canÂ’t deny that IÂ’d enjoy the media attention on us should we go through. Nobody else for the media to go on about in Europe. Come on lads! Up the Blues!
John Malone
27 Posted 18/03/2015 at 22:26:19
Dave Rinehart, I think he meant he was having an early dart mate!
Colin Glassar
28 Posted 18/03/2015 at 22:30:15
Somehow, Matthew, I think theyÂ’ll find a way to ignore us. The focus will be on Chelsea winning the title,
Patrick Murphy
29 Posted 18/03/2015 at 22:38:59
Colin – I just hope we can somehow get through tomorrow to keep our own season alive and the tantalising possibility of ending that 20 year drought.
Mike Childs
30 Posted 18/03/2015 at 22:35:02
Sorry, Tony, but I disagree BarcaÂ’s defensive is miles above us. They started the year with 8 clean sheets. I donÂ’t know where they are at this point but those 8 are more than we have all season.

Of course, I believe we would have a few more except for teacherÂ’s pet aka Laughing Boy.

I maybe wrong but I seriously doubt you watch many Barca games.

Matthew Salem
31 Posted 18/03/2015 at 22:39:17
Well as of today, we are what represents the FA in Europe and even many of those who may be indifferent towards us normally, will be on the bandwagon should we get a result tomorrow. The coefficient for English clubs must be going to shit with the continued failings and early exits, so it is in everybodyÂ’s interest that we do well. COYB!
Patrick Murphy
32 Posted 18/03/2015 at 22:51:14
Mathew - On the subject of European coefficients there will be no loss of CL places for England for next season it remains at four.
Lewis Barclay
33 Posted 18/03/2015 at 22:51:57
I’d be tempted to play Coleman on the right wing or as part of a back five with him and Baines really working as "wing backs" and bring Browning in behind him for the first 45 – then consider Atsu after. Atsu seems like a real risk to me, not as much as pushing Seamus forward would be.

Probably not the game to try it o guess but maybe QPR is. Coleman has looked lacking for a while. I think, his and Baines form has been a large part of why I feel weÂ’ve underperformed versus last year in the PL.

Tony McNulty
34 Posted 18/03/2015 at 22:53:50
Mike,

I do see quite a few of their games on Sky. Some of their defending tonight was chaotic, eg, when their goalie decided he should play right back for a while and lost the ball.

My throw away line was underscoring the Roberto philosophy, which I think is to follow the Barcelona model to the extent that it doesnÂ’t matter how many the opposition score, because we can score more.

I think the philosophy is great ... when you have Messi and Co. in your team. It is a little more difficult to play this way when you lack their players.

Santosh Benjamin
36 Posted 18/03/2015 at 23:23:44
I know the odds are stacked against us but I am trying to stay positive about our chances. Getting into the Quarterfinals will do wonders for moral in the squad and make others notice our club. I turn 35 tomorrow and would love nothing more than an Everton entry into the Europa League Quarterfinal as my present. If anybody is actually travelling to the game – may God be with you in that dangerous place....COYB
Patrick Murphy
37 Posted 18/03/2015 at 23:29:49
Many happy returns Santosh - I wish I could turn 35 again, but when I turned 35 Everton had just made it to Wembley in 1995 so I hope you can see the lads win the final in May and that you donÂ’t have to wait until youÂ’re 55 until they win another trophy after that.
Chris James
38 Posted 18/03/2015 at 23:39:24
I think heÂ’s got to keep the same team and philosophy thatÂ’s been working in recent matches. The best form of defence really is attack, so surely we have to start with 2 up top and Gibson or Ossie somewhere in the middle (IÂ’d prefer the former with the latter to come on when the pace of the game slows).

Likewise, our best chance of progressing is to get on the scoresheet, as has been mentioned, trying to sit on a 0-0 is foolhardy in the extreme. Playing the counter is one thing, but the suggestion of a midfield of Besic, Barry and McCarthy made above sounds like a massive negative step back to me.

Chris Wilson
39 Posted 18/03/2015 at 23:56:22
It appears our Ukrainian friends have started the gamesmanship. The team can’t train on the pitch because it is supposedly in such bad condition that they have to cover it with a tarp until tomorrow’s match. (Translation – let’s try to interrupt Everton’s traveling routine and get into their heads.)

I hope the players unplugged the phones in their hotel rooms, and that the team has security guarding all the fire alarms so they donÂ’t "accidentally" go off in the middle of the night... many times, and that theyÂ’ve been able to locate a reputable bus driver who doesnÂ’t get lost on the way to the stadium, and manages to arrive about an hour before game time. (Smiley face since I canÂ’t do text speak.)

Santosh Benjamin
40 Posted 19/03/2015 at 00:35:41
Cheers, Patrick. I hope so too.
Matthew Salem
41 Posted 19/03/2015 at 00:41:18
Spot on Patrick. I totally forgot the replay. ThatÂ’s what I get for reading BBC Sport. We have four CL spots for next year, but doesnÂ’t this year affect the allocation the FA get on the long run?
Abhishek Saha
42 Posted 19/03/2015 at 02:28:25
Atsu should definitely start. This would be a surprise for them. I am sure they have done their home work on others but Atsu.

Save Kone for QPR and let Naismith in, he should be raring to go after being rested for Newcastle. We should not forget that QPR is an away fixture for us.

Introduce Barkley and Gibson, together for the last 30 min. GibsonÂ’s intelligent forward balls and BarkleyÂ’s speed if introduced suddenly and together, will too much for some tired legs.

With Mcarthy, Gibson and Besic, Barry doesnÂ’t fit into the team. Besic should start because (a) he is a natural centre back, itÂ’s important not concede goals in the first 30 min (b) he has the experience of playing in this part of the world

Howard
Coleman Jagielka Stones Baines
McCarthy Besic (60' Gibson)
Atsu Osman
Naismith (60' Barkley)
Lukaku.
4-2-2-1-1

Keep the faith!!

Matt Traynor
43 Posted 19/03/2015 at 02:49:13
Matthew #31/41, the European co-efficient is another sleight of hand from Uefa aimed at protecting their income. Spain, England and Germany get 4 CL slots as "top status leagues" or whatever theyÂ’re called. They also generate the most money for TV rights. (Look at BT Sports last bid.)

Yes the mechanism is there for, say, Italy to replace one of the other countries, but the fact that the co-efficient is calculated in aggregate, rather than average, makes that well nigh impossible unless England has a lot of teams consistently failing in Europe, and Italy wins everything.

Or their broadcaster suddenly ponies up a lot more for the TV rights.

Anyway, havenÂ’t checked in a while but I think England were 2nd of the 3 "super leagues".

David Ellis
44 Posted 19/03/2015 at 04:48:09
Yes Matt we are miles ahead of Italy. They don't have any clubs in the Top 20 of the Uefa coefficient. Anyway if Everton win the Europa League we will drag everyone else up.

Currently Everton are ranked 71 and LFC are ranked 40. The highest we can get this season is around 50th, but a win tonight would move us up to the mid 60s. This matters for future European competition draws.

Eric Myles
45 Posted 19/03/2015 at 04:48:42
Matt, overall ranking based on the last 5 years England are second, but this year only are fourth behind Spain, Italy and Germany in that order.
Harold Matthews
46 Posted 19/03/2015 at 08:03:34
Hope we don't stand of these guys and allow them to cross or shoot. It's the one thing that has bugged me all season. Seamus take note.
Sam Hoare
47 Posted 19/03/2015 at 08:51:40
Excited about tonight! Difficult to know what system to play. Containment+ counter attack or just the normal attacking(!) posession game. Will be an interesting test of Roberto's tactical acumen and ability to mentally prepare the team.

My worry is that Lukaku will be played one striker and will be too isolated and struggle to hold it up. Hopefully whoever plays as support striker/winger will make sure they are close to him as we saw how good he can be when he has support runners against Newcastle.

Yarmolenko will be their dangerman and if we can keep him quiet we will go a long way towards winning it.

My gut says they will get an early one again. Then we will start playing better but they'll catch us on the break. We'll then get a heroic late equaliser to take the tie into extra time...and thats where my foresight cuts out!

Mcgeady has experience in this part of the world and plenty of European games under his belt. If he is fully fit I think I'd give him a go over Atsu as he has the superior work rate and discipline.

Very tough line up to choose but think i'd go:

Howard
Coleman Stones Jags Baines
Besic Barry McCarthy
Mcgeady Lukaku Naismith

That gives us alot of energy around the park and I would tell Besic and McCarthy to take turns to get forward and be there for Lukaku when the direct balls come in.

Nelly Verdonghan
48 Posted 19/03/2015 at 09:35:00
Just found out McGeady is fit & has travelled....PLEASE God NO !!
Andrew Ellams
49 Posted 19/03/2015 at 09:29:43
An early goal either way will be huge tonight. If they score it they can shut up shop and breaking teams down hasn't exactly been our forte this season, if we score early they will need to go for it and I believe that will open them up and we could take advantage on the counter.
Laurie Hartley
50 Posted 19/03/2015 at 09:39:41
Could be another big night for Lukaku. Given Mirallas didn't travel could be McGeady starts this game. I for one hope so.

For some strange reason I am feeling curiously optimistic.

2-2

Up the Blues.

Paul Dark
51 Posted 19/03/2015 at 09:55:35
If McGeady plays any part, we will go out. How on earth he can be preferred to Atsu is shocking, simply shocking. The fact that he has played in Russia means nothing given that he is a less-than-poor footballer.

Martinez’s love of this sub-mediocre player - without doubt the worst player in the PL at present - is evidence enough of why RM should be replaced as soon as we are safe.

Colin Glassar
52 Posted 19/03/2015 at 10:19:29
I agree with Laurie, it will be a score draw and we will go through. Kiev didn't impress me, big club in a tiny pond.
Adam Luszniak
53 Posted 19/03/2015 at 10:27:11
I think we can deal with these. Personally I can see us returning to a 4-2-3-1, and Barry coming back in for this one. Don't actually think that would be a bad thing. I would play

Howard
Coleman Jags Stones Baines
Mcarthy Barry
Mcgeady Barkley Osman
Lukaku

We will need experienced heads, and our best defenders on the field. Osman should play as despite not being a natural winger, he actually stayed wide and stretched the pitch against Newcastle. Naismith could be handy for this kind of game too, we need to disrupt them all over the field. (not sure where he fits in though) If we can play with the kind of desire we showed against them in the home leg (or at least half of it) and in the Newcastle game, we should be too much for them.

Score draw for me too Colin.

Sam Morrison
54 Posted 19/03/2015 at 10:37:12
Paul Dark, that's quite a damning assessment of McGeady. I'm probably on the same page as you in that I don't really get excited to see him in the team, but 'worst player in the premiership'? I think Sunderland might have something to say about that. In terms of effort if nothing else.
Karl Graham
56 Posted 19/03/2015 at 12:09:29
I expect this.
Howard
Coleman Stones Jagielka Baines
Besic McCarthy Barry
Atsu Lukaku Naismith

Robles Alcaraz Garbutt Osman Barkley McGeady Kone

Hopefully they will play with freedom and pace last thing we need is a slow nervous performance.

Sam Hoare
57 Posted 19/03/2015 at 12:38:45
Paul Dark, of all your anti- Mcgeady rants that is one of the most ridiculous.
Seamus McCrudden
58 Posted 19/03/2015 at 12:54:40
I donÂ’t really rate McGeady but he does seem to have a few assists for us & surely he might give a good account of himself re Russia and personal pride etc.
Steve Carse
59 Posted 19/03/2015 at 17:04:02
Karl (56), 8 out of 11, not bad given the unpredictability of Martinez's team selections.
Colin Glassar
60 Posted 20/03/2015 at 12:55:57
Does anyone else think arriving 24 hours before such a big game, in a different time zone, and not even practicing on the pitch beforehand was another major cock-up?
They should've flown out on Tuesday at the latest to get over the jet lag but I suppose an extra nights stay in the £30 a night hostel in downtown Kiev was just too much for our money men to handle. #23.
Mike Hughes
61 Posted 20/03/2015 at 13:10:55
It might have had an impact, Colin. But I would not want to spend more time there than necessary either. RM doesn't need any more possible excuses. This season is all down to him including last night.
Colin Glassar
62 Posted 20/03/2015 at 15:32:19
Not looking for excuses Mike, just that it's not a short journey and I think most other clubs would want them to be settled in at least 48hrs before the game.

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