Premier League strugglers Everton travel to France with their continental hopes hanging on a thread as another defeat at the hands of Lyon could prove to be fatal in their Europa league campaign. The French side, however, have a great chance to secure qualification to the next round of competition.
Lyon Looking to Secure Knockout Stage
In-form Ligue 1 side Lyon will be hoping to extend their four-match winning run in all competition when they welcome Everton at Parc Olympique Lyon on Thursday night. Bruno Genesio’s side have only lost one match during the entire season and will be hopeful their momentum will keep on going against the out-of-sorts Premier League side. Having already beaten Everton in a feisty encounter at Goodison a fortnight ago, Lyon are now hoping to open an unreachable gap between them and the Toffees in Group E. Trailing leaders Atalanta by two points, Lyon plan to remain unbeaten and scoop an important win. Fantastic run of form – and especially at home where Lyon have yet to lose any of their six matches in Europe – proves a solid case in favour of the French side. Last-season’s Europa League semifinalists will surely hope to book their place in the knockouts early and pave way for going one step further in the competition this year. Europa League has become a great alternative route towards the Champions League football and this year – unlike before – team have much more to fight for than just international recognition.
Midfielder Clement Grenier has been struggling with a foot injury whereas defender Ferland Mendy has had a thigh issue but both of them could shake off the problems in time for the Thursday’s match.
Everton Hopes Fading
Hopes are fading for Everton and not only in Europe. The Premier League side is coming off from a four-match losing streak in all competitions, started exactly against Lyon two weeks ago. The poor run of form resulted in manager Ronald Koeman getting a sack and David Unsworth taking over in his second spell as interim manager in just 16 months. Unsworth has so far failed to steady the ship and his own hopes of landing a permanent Everton job are fading as well after a 2-0 defeat at Leicester City. The Goodison-based club has invested greatly during summer but is failing to make good use of it. Everton are sitting 18th in the standings with only 8 points on the tally. Pushed down to the Premier League relegation zone, Everton will have bigger worries to think about than Europa League and we pretty much can expect to see another demotivated Everton side in France. David Unsworth will have tough time boosting the shaken morale of his stars and it’s fair to say betting on Everton would not be a good idea this time around.
Everton’s chances of landing a positive result become even worse knowing that Unsworth will have a lengthy list of unavailable players for the Thursday’s match. Ross Barkley, Yannick Bolasie, Sheamus Coleman, James McCarthy, Nikola Vlasic and Ramiro Mori are all sidelined with injuries.
We struggle to look past Lyon for this particular clash. The French side are enjoying quite a run in all competition and are heading into the match in completely opposite form than Everton which could prove to be crucial.
Top pick: Lyon 1.53 (8/15) @Coral
Alternative pick 1: Lyon to Win to Nil 2.75 (7/4) @Bet365
Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score – No 2.10 (11/10) @BetVictor