Apollon Limassol vs Everton

Thursday, 7 December, 2017 53comments  |  Jump to most recent
Match Preview

Everton's disastrous Europa League campaign comes to a close this evening in Cyprus as they take on Apollon Limassol in a genuine dead rubber in Group E.

Both teams have already been eliminated from the competition and with nothing riding on the outcome, new Blues boss Sam Allardyce is expected to take the opportunity to blood some youth players and hand opportunities to impress to the senior side's fringe players.

The manager himself will remain in England because of a pre-arranged medical appointment. Craig Shakespeare and Duncan Ferguson will travel instead with the bulk of the first team with Allardyce, assistant Sammy Lee and the rest of the players using the time to prepare for Sunday's Merseyside derby against Liverpool.

The squad named for the final group game includes eight players from the Under-23s setup: Nathan Broadhead, Harry Charsley, Michael Collins, Alex Denny, Stephen Duke-McKenna, Anthony Gordon, Fraser Hornby, and Shayne Lavery.

Article continues below video content

The Liverpool Echo have been speculating that along with Morgan Feeney, who came on against Atalanta in the last European fixture, Charsley could be handed his first senior appearance with a place in the starting XI.

Davy Klaassen and Muhamed Besic, meanwhile, are also set to start as they press for greater inclusion under the new regime but Sandro Ramirez suffered an injury in training and won't play. It was hoped that James McCarthy would be fit but he is not match ready but Kevin Mirallas and Morgan Schneiderlin are likely starters.

Kick-off: 6pm, Thursday, 7 December, 2017


Reader Comments (53)

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Steve Ferns
1 Posted 06/12/2017 at 19:32:01
Allardyce and Lee miss the trip to Cyprus.

Allardyce has a medical appointment, sounds a bit more serious than a checkup. Lee is to stay with the players left behind and work with them (the first team). Whilst Shakespeare and Ferguson will take the team itself.

So why not Unsworth?

Mark Tanton
2 Posted 07/12/2017 at 05:57:56
Well let’s hope that the extra rest helps our boys, and that Allardyce can get our shape right. After his trip to the dentist...
Derek Knox
3 Posted 07/12/2017 at 06:33:49
Albeit a nothing game, at least it gives some of the young lads a chance to have some involvement. Hoping for a win though, if only to keep the momentum going, and contributing towards the right frame of mind for Sunday.

Having said that, I don't know if any of the possible starters for the derby will feature or not. I suppose it is fairly difficult to motivate yourself as a player for this, knowing that a good win will deliver nothing, except recognition and possible consideration for Sunday.

Dennis Stevens
4 Posted 07/12/2017 at 07:47:31
Why would Unsworth go, Steve? If Allardyce can't be there, I'd expect him to delegate to other members of his coaching team, just as he has. Unsworth isn't part of that team & has his own responsibilities to deal with.
John Keating
5 Posted 07/12/2017 at 08:13:30
Thankfully the end of a complete waste of time. With a bit of luck we will never have to enter this competition again. For me, either Champions League or nothing.

Robles, Klaassen, Besic, Mirallas, Schneiderlin and youngsters. Send Robles back after the match and keep the rest there for a few days on the bevy.

Chris Gould
6 Posted 07/12/2017 at 08:20:47
Steve, being a little bit cynical, I suspect this 'medical appointment' is an excuse to stay home and prepare the first team for Sunday.
Liam Reilly
7 Posted 07/12/2017 at 08:34:31
Surprised Liam Walsh didn't make he cut.

Okay his spell at Birmingham wasn't great but didn't he win the league's U23 player of the season last season?

Dermot O'Brien
8 Posted 07/12/2017 at 08:40:56
The Battle for Third Place!

And a spot in the Intertoto Cup...

I just hope everyone gets back injury free.

Will Mabon
9 Posted 07/12/2017 at 08:53:29
All about what could've been. A potentially enjoyable campaign decimated at the hand of Attempt 1 of the New Dawn. I don't know the full extent of poor performance records we stand to register if we lose again, we've already bust a couple. Would be nice to win for the damage limitation.

Who knows – the total lack of pressure and hugely changed team might turn one up out of the blue...

Will Mabon
10 Posted 07/12/2017 at 08:55:32
Dermot – is it too late to get into the Texaco Cup if we win tonight?
Len Hawkins
11 Posted 07/12/2017 at 09:16:48
According to the papers Big Sam had a heart operation when he was at Blackburn and he has a routine appointment with the cardiologist to assess things. So I would imagine the perfect time would be when a meaningless match is being played.
Sam Hoare
12 Posted 07/12/2017 at 09:20:02
Any team predictions?! Not sure of the traveling squad but hope to see something like:

Charsley Besic Feeney Collins
Klaassen Banigime Schneiderlin
Lookman Broadhead Mirallas

Charsley is a midfielder who has played at RB on occasion and Collins is a pacy CB, not sure what other FB options they've taken.

Rob Young
13 Posted 07/12/2017 at 09:40:36
John (#5),

There is absolutely no point getting into the Champions League without any previous European experience.

Also, we'd be one of the lowest ranked clubs in the competition as well just because of that.

I don't get this. If we ever want to become successful it means we will have to be able to handle a European campaign next to our Premier League campaign.

What else is the point of getting into the Champions League knowing we won't be able to handle the extra fixtures, meaning we will not qualify again for the next season?

All this moaning about extra games. Grow up. Successful teams deal with it. Small teams moan.

Have you ever been on a European trip with the club?

Dave Williams
14 Posted 07/12/2017 at 09:41:23
Some strange omissions: Walsh, Sambou, Henen, Evans.

Sensible move though as we have quite a game coming up!

Rob Young
17 Posted 07/12/2017 at 09:43:41
I reckon Walsh might not be eligible to play for the first team because he was actually still supposed to be out on loan?
Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 07/12/2017 at 09:52:21
A new manager, gets to work with his squad for a week without interruption, or send his team on a 4,000-mile round trip for a dead rubber three days before a Merseyside derby, and you don't get it Rob?

He won't get another chance to do this until at least the second week in January, when most of the squad will probably be looking for a few days off, considering the hectic schedule that is about to begin.

I'm made up he's taken this decision, because the players need some time together to work out the new methods that will be getting drilled into them, and also getting a lot more rest to help them prepare for Anfield on Sunday.

Dave Rinehart
19 Posted 07/12/2017 at 09:59:22
The fact that we are playing a team that sounds like a Greek floor cleaner or an ingredient in diet soda and the game means nothing tells you all you need to know about this competition and how far we had fallen. Better times ahead folks and hopefully a chance to see some of the youngsters and Besic shine.
Barry Williams
20 Posted 07/12/2017 at 10:00:22
Something is puzzling me a little, maybe someone more in the know can answer. We didn't get Niasse registered for the competition, or Garbutt registered for anything. So why can these kids play? A lot of them are nowhere near the first team. Not a criticism of the players, just genuinely think this is a bit weird!
Rob Young
21 Posted 07/12/2017 at 10:03:29
Tony (#18),

I was reacting to someone saying it was either Champions League or nothing for him, so you might have misunderstood that.

Because for tonight, I agree.

Rob Dolby
22 Posted 07/12/2017 at 10:03:35
As a fan of football and not really a fan of media circus football, I regard this competition as a watered-down money maker for UEFA.

It offers Champions League football for invariably a failed Champions League team. Most of the time, the dropouts from the Champions League win it anyhow.

If it were a 2-legged knockout including more teams, I would embrace it but it is awful to watch and generally a pain in the arse going to Thursday and Sunday games.

James Ebden
23 Posted 07/12/2017 at 10:04:57
Tony, I think you misunderstood Rob's point. He doesn't get the attitude of some that they don't want Europa League football at all, because the club will need to manage the workload of European games if it ever wants to progress and compete in the Champions League.

I think Allardyce has done the right thing. A derby game is way more important than a dead rubber. Blood some youngsters and fringe players, while giving the main squad extra prep time. Let's hope it pays off on Sunday. :)

Barry, I think we can freely play any U23 players in games as they don't need registering.

Barry Williams
24 Posted 07/12/2017 at 10:08:43
James Ebden (#23),

That makes sense, thanks!

Dennis Stevens
25 Posted 07/12/2017 at 10:26:31
What devalues this competition is the parachuting in of Champions League failures part way through. I think UEFA thought it would enhance the image of the competition but it has the opposite effect entirely.
Tony Everan
26 Posted 07/12/2017 at 10:29:07
Barry, let's hope we are following the rules or we may be eliminated on a technicality.
Barry Williams
27 Posted 07/12/2017 at 10:32:49
Tony Everan (#26),

And take our 1 point away!

John Keating
28 Posted 07/12/2017 at 10:45:47
Rob Young – no need to get personal! I am quite grown up.

Regarding going abroad with Everton. Well, I first went to Greece and Germany in 70-71.

Some pre season games. Rotterdam. Couple of games in the Martinez time, Holland, Germany.

So yes I have been with the Club a while, possibly before you were born? However, that is immaterial.

In my opinion, history has shown, for whatever reason, The Europa League does not favour too many British Clubs in progression. For some reason, we don't seem to have good seasons during the competition.

Regarding your observation that for some reason we need European experience to progress in Europe, well we didn't do too bad winning the Cup Winners Cup.

Similarly, Leicester seemed to do well without prior European experience.

Derek Knox
29 Posted 07/12/2017 at 11:03:04
John @28, we simply haven't progressed in this Competition this time round by virtue of the sheer incompetence of Koeman, both with his recruitment and team selection/tactics.

Let me remind you, as if it is needed, he was the man who almost destroyed us from within, and oh yes, walked away with the thick end of a £10M wedge, which would choke a donkey at both ends!

A lot of people devalue the Europa League, but since last year, it is an alternative route to Champions League football. I know it's a pain Thursday and Sunday, but you know what they say – 'no pain, no gain'!

Steve Ferns
30 Posted 07/12/2017 at 11:06:06
I hope Anthony Gordon makes his debut in his accustomed No 10 role just off the striker. It would be brilliant if the Ginger Messi could go up a level and announce himself to the men's game.

I have big hopes for young Mr Gordon.

Rob Young
31 Posted 07/12/2017 at 11:41:31
John (#28),

1985 was a different sort of competition so you cannot compare to today's set-up.

Leicester did do well in the Champions League but how did it affect their league form? .... which is my point. And, apart from the memories, it got them nothing.

I'm sure your memories of going to Greece and Germany (although European Cup) are worth a lot. Similarly, I wouldn't have wanted to miss my memories of travelling across Europe with Everton because it wasn't European Cup / Champions League and we wouldn't have bothered.

Sam Hoare
32 Posted 07/12/2017 at 11:42:02
Most of the youngsters we have taken over are from the U18 group rather than U23 regulars like Walsh, Evans, Henen etc. Possibly because the U23s had a game against Derby on Tuesday in which most of them featured.
David Israel
33 Posted 07/12/2017 at 11:43:26
Regarding the availability of the U23s, I'm not sure a team can play any number of those players. In the Champions League there are a few slots reserved for home-grown players, and I would have thought the same rules will basically apply to the Europa League. So, quite a few of them can probably be used, but not the whole lot of them, and I think they all still need registering.

As we are a club renowned for its long-term vision, all these youngsters were probably registered to play in the competition given the fact that the last match was scheduled for Cyprus, by which time we would surely have qualified for the knock-out stages, plus the small detail of a derby three days later.

Derek Knox
34 Posted 07/12/2017 at 12:10:33
Forgot to mention before, that I have looked, but cannot actually find who has exactly gone in the travelling party. A few have mentioned on here about certain youngsters, and I have seen the pictures of Lookman, Mirallas and waste of space Schneiderlin at the Airport but that's about it.

While I know it's a dead rubber, like a perished condom, it's still interesting to know who to look out for, with the new breed of Evertonians.

Jay Wood
35 Posted 07/12/2017 at 12:25:43
I look forward to the day Sam Allardyce pulls off a stunt at a press conference as one of our (alleged) targets for the manager's role, Paulo Fonseca, did last night after his Shaktar side beat Man City.



Brian Cleveland
36 Posted 07/12/2017 at 12:36:19
Is there any TV coverage of this one or have we (understandably!) been abandoned?
Steve Ferns
37 Posted 07/12/2017 at 12:44:27
David, you're wrong. We could play an entire U23 side, providing we meet the criteria for being homegrown. The only players not meeting the criteria are the likes of Donkor. There's two types of homegrown players:

- club: trained at Everton for 3 years from the age of 15
- country: trained in England for 3 years from the age of 15

A player is home grown if he's home grown, not because he is registered as such. In fact, clubs often leave gaps in the registration rather than registering players as the gap counts as a homegrown club player. Example being, don't register Tom Davies: leave a gap but play him anyway.

Whether Uefa would go mad at us for playing such a side, and bringing the game into disrepute, is another matter. The fact that the game is meaningless for both sides (in terms of qualification) means that it is unlikely Uefa would actually be bothered.

Len Hawkins
38 Posted 07/12/2017 at 13:05:22
It is on BT sports 2 at 17:30 – kick off 18:00.
Jon Withey
39 Posted 07/12/2017 at 13:17:39
Will McCarthy ever be fit again! I hope so.

Actually more interested in this game now if we are trying out some youth – good experience.

The first teamers who are going must be a little embarrassed – but how they react to that should tell Sam all he needs to know; you'd expect a few of them to be sold.

Derek Knox
40 Posted 07/12/2017 at 13:19:23
Jay Wood, thanks for the link, good stunt, but I thought Sam was already wearing one, Sorry Sam.

I tell you who should have been wearing one, that Dutch Daylight Robber!

John Keating
41 Posted 07/12/2017 at 13:23:47
Hi Rob,

No I am glad you've enjoyed following the team abroad. It was just that you'd asked if I'd ever been abroad with them. Every time there were great memories, not least our week stay in Rotterdam! Still suffering.

It's not the time we have there; it's what and how it affects the team. This season was a disaster and the results coupled with the Premier League results helped with the rut and lack of confidence in the team. Not only has it caused the Club embarrassment at home but also overseas. We were laughed at.

Until we get a large squad where we can rotate equally good players from the bench, in my opinion, we should keep clear of the Europa League.

I have not gone to any away Europa League games this season as I had no interest in it from the minute we got in it and found out when we had to start. With our opening league programme I always felt it would be difficult, however, I must admit not for a minute did I expect it all to be so disastrous.

We will have to agree to disagree but for me it is a competition I am quite happy to steer clear of but if we ever get back into the Champions League and the level of competition there, then trust me, my passport's ready.

Minik Hansen
42 Posted 07/12/2017 at 13:25:20
Dave (#14, #15 & #16),

Maybe the U23s needs some of them?

Lev Vellene
43 Posted 07/12/2017 at 13:30:29
Wasn't it something like if the player is 21 or younger, then there is no need to be registered for the Europa League squad to be able to play. I don't think Calvert-Lewin is registered?
Brian Cleveland
44 Posted 07/12/2017 at 13:41:43
Thanks Len, so it looks like dodgy link time for me then!!
Peter Fearon
45 Posted 07/12/2017 at 13:47:19
John Keating: The Europa League only seems a waste of time because we have so far failed to win it. In fact, it is the most practical way we have at the moment of ever reaching the Champions League. Winning the Europa League is far easier than a top four finish.

Also, once a match against a top German or Italian or Spanish club begins, which competition it is taking place in quickly becomes of secondary importance. If we were in the Europa League final against say, Atletico Madrid, I doubt you would find it a waste of time.

Tony Abrahams
46 Posted 07/12/2017 at 13:52:45
I was being lazy, Rob, I should have known that you agree with the squad decision for tonight mate, because it's the obvious decision, especially with the other crowd flying at the minute!

John McFarlane [Snr]
47 Posted 07/12/2017 at 14:44:19
My first encounter with European away games began in January 1964 when a friend of mine who sadly passed away at a young age, asked if I fancied going up to Dunfermline for the return game in the 'International Fairs Cup', my reply was, "Certainly... how will we get up there?"

Before I reveal the outcome of this conversation, I must explain to the younger readers of this post that what you call mopeds were at that time referred to as scooters, mopeds were ordinary bicycles with a small engine attached, giving the rider the choice of pedalling or powered movement. I don't think you will be surprised to learn that I declined his kind offer.

I would like in his honour, to give you a brief description of his devotion to Everton Football Club. In barroom discussions one could say all manner of things such as, "Brian Labone is a carthorse" or "Alex Young is a fairy", and he would stand his ground and defend them. However if someone was to mention anything relating to Liverpool, he would say, "Gentlemen, I don't wish to discuss this" and however much or little was left in his glass, he would down it and move on to the next pub.

To return to my own experience of European away days, I have only been to two, circumstances and finances playing a major part. My first away game was the first leg off the Fairs Cup at Old Trafford, in a 1-1 draw against Manchester United. You may think that this is no big deal, but imagine the stick I was able to give my Liverpudlian mates. My second game was the night in Rotterdam for the Cup Winners Cup final.

Like many, I believe the Europa League is a distraction, but because I'm programmed to attend Everton games, irrespective of opponents or competition, and because I have a 13-year-old Grandson who attends matches with me, and I want him to see teams from Europe as part of his football education.

Brian Wilkinson
48 Posted 07/12/2017 at 15:04:51
As far as I am aware we have an a list and a B list, the B list is for players who have been at Everton at least two years and under a certain age, I am sure other posters will know more about this and how it works but from what see from it is those youngsters selected tonight, we’re entered on the B list submitted.
Brian Wilkinson
49 Posted 07/12/2017 at 15:09:05
Hope this helps in regards to the B list, and youngsters playing tonight:

A player may be registered on List B if he is born on or after 1 January 1994 and has been eligible to play for the club concerned for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday by the time he is registered with UEFA. Players aged 16 may be registered on List B if they have been registered with the participating club for the previous two years without interruption.

Each club is entitled to register an unlimited number of players on List B during the season. The list must be submitted by no later than midnight CET on the day before the match in question.

John McFarlane [Snr]
50 Posted 07/12/2017 at 15:29:25
Regarding the trip to Dunfermline, I omitted to say that the mode of transport he was offering, was a lift on the back of his scooter.

I imagine, you may well have figured that out, any more slip ups like that, and I may exceed the six-post limit.

Iain Johnston
51 Posted 07/12/2017 at 15:35:40
Steve (#37). They've changed the goalposts on the homegrown front.

The ruling is that a player must spend 3 seasons or 36 months continuous or noncontinuous at any English club prior to their 21st birthday.

It's why both Lukaku & Schneiderlin were classed as homegrown when our club squad was re registered after the January 2017 window.

It's why David Henen would be classed as homegrown if he were to be named in the 1st team squad.

Paul Holmes
52 Posted 07/12/2017 at 16:10:04
Typical that the players who need to play and impress, or the players needing games to get back to full fitness, don't make the trip for whatever reason. Sandro, McCarthy, Bolasie to name just a few. How the fuck can they still be injured because they don't play often enough to get injured!
Neville Wellings
53 Posted 07/12/2017 at 16:15:49
Great shame we've stank in this season's Europa League, there's nothing better than supporting EFC at hostile European grounds.

My first was at Zaragoza in 1966. Filled my school rucksack with tins of beans and set off hitch-hiking with a mate. Took us five days. The Spanish club were great, gave us free tickets, four other blues had come down by car, so six of us saw Johnny Morrissey sent off and a 2-0 defeat.

Almost blagged our way back on the team plane. Norman Wynne of the 'People' told us to get to the team's hotel and we should get on it. Eventually the pilot told us that there were 'insurance difficulties' and it was another five days to get back.

Other trips to Borussia Moenchengladbach, Panathanaikos, Dukla Prague, Feyenoord, Finn Harps and the Final at Rotterdam followed. It could be a few years after tonight before the chance to support the Blues in Europe happens again...

Len Hawkins
54 Posted 07/12/2017 at 16:32:34
Nev 53 My brother and his German wife lived in Monchengladbach I have been with him many times to watch them in the Bundesligue.
When Everton drew them in the European Cup in 1970 I was made up but I had just got a new job and was on a residential training course so couldn't get the time off to go over there managed to go to the home game.
Michael Kenrick
56 Posted 07/12/2017 at 16:47:21
John Sr, just to add a little clarification:

I suspect the Dumfermline trip would have actually been proposed in October 1962, and it was strangely called the Inter-Cities Fairs' Cup (I always that that was something to do with the trains...). The Man Utd game you speak of was in January, but 1965.

That was the first of our record and rather impressive (at the time) five consecutive seasons in European competition. I thought that run was ended in 1967-68 by Liverpool and the ridiculous one city, one club rule that was unique to this competition. But I think I'm wrong on that score.

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