Date: Thursday 23rd October
Venue: Stadium Lille-Métropole
KO Time: 18:00 (BST)
The top two teams in Group H of the Europa league meet at the Métropole Stadium this Thursday evening.
Everton are the only team in the group to record a win after the first 2 matches and although a draw would not be disastrous for both, Lille need the win more after two draws and the two teams below them playing each other..
Lille had a decent start to their Ligue 1 campaign but their form has nose-dived somewhat in recent weeks and they have now only one win in their last 5 matches. They’ve suffered back to back league defeats at Lyon and Guingamp.
Their two 1-1 draws in the Europa league against opposition they’d expect to beat (Wolfsburg and Krasnodar) emphasises their problem, which is scoring goals.
Lille were of course originally in the Champion’s League, having been dumped out by Porto after failing to score in either qualifying leg.
Everton have had an unexpectedly poor start to their Premier League campaign but look like they might be back on track after an impressive 3-0 win at Aston Villa. They have been conceding far too many goals in the Premier League (16 in their first 7 matches) and they’ll be pleased to have kept a clean sheet on Saturday.
Everton had a convincing win in their opening Europa League match against Wolfsburg and even after a disappointing draw against Krasnodar, they’ll still be confident of qualifying easily form this group.
Key players and team news
Everton: Romalu Lukaku
Lukaku was a revelation for Everton last year, causing many to question Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho letting him go to the toffees on loan. He’s had a slow start to this season but was back on the score sheet on Saturday and Everton will need him at his best to use his physical presence to crack the stubborn Lille defence.
The Lille captain has missed a few matches due to suspension and this has been a big factor in their loss of form. He was back at the weekend however and manager René Girard will now be looking to the French International to rally his troops and get some confidence back into the team.
I think this has the makings of a low-scoring affair. Lille have only conceded 7 goals in their 10 league matches and 2 in the Europa League and Everton don’t need to push for a win.
If there is to be a winner it will likely be Everton, so my advice is to back them with Bet365 who will refund your bet if it ends 0-0 as part of their bore draw campaign.
Best bet Back Everton at 3.3 with Bet365