In what was due to be the tie of the group stages prior to the tournament kicking off, Everton take on tough opposition in French side, Lyon.
Many viewed this clash as a tough game for Everton prior to our current dip in form. With that in mind, this one could become 1 of 2 things for the Toffees. It could very easily lead to a thumping if we play as we have in the past couple of months or it could be the moment of our season that really turns things around, big games have a habit of doing the latter.
Everton come into the game knowing three points is a must if we want to make it out of the group and into the knockout stages of the competition. The best thing that could happen is that the game is open and is end-to-end, with the Blues probably feeling more comfortable in their defence than going forward. The fans will get behind a quick tempo game and will be more supportive than they would if we sat back as we have done a lot so far this season.
The team is expected not to change much from our last fixture against Brighton, were the toffees picked up a 1-1 draw. However, Koeman is being urged to drop one of the 2 defensive midfielders in favour of another wide man to provide some pace and direct football down the flanks.
Lyon will come to Goodison with a few injury concerns to key men. The french side will be without striker former Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz – who has scored 7 goals in 11 appearances since his switch to Lyon in the summer. Another not to travel to Merseyside this evening is starting left back Ferland Mendy, who has stuggled with a thigh problem for a couple of weeks prior to this game.
In total the away side could be without as many as 5 starting players, but later fitness tests will be taken to determine the outcome of the remaining 3 players not mentioned.
Having said that, Lyon are still no mugs and have some good depth to their squad that their manager Bruno Génésio wouldn’t hesistate to use. The travellers have so far draw all of their Europa league group stage matches this term, meaning they will be as keen as Everton to get 3 points this evening. Their current league form shows that they are capable of scoring goals, with them netting 11 in their last 5 games. However, they are also prone to conceding a high number too, allowing 9 goals to be scored against them also in their last 5 games.
A quick and open game could be on the cards, something that could rouse the Goodison park crowd and in tern the players as well.