Everton v Apollon Limassol

The third instalment in a series of four straight games at Goodison Park comes in the form of a competition which couldn’t have started much worse for the hosts.

Everton’s UEFA Europa League campaign commenced two weeks ago with an appalling display in Italy against Atalanta. A night to forget for the Toffees.

No fight, no urgency, no plan.

But that’s game has proved to be a real wake up call for Ronald Koeman’s troops. A score line that more than flattered Manchester United followed, then wins against Sunderland and Bournemouth look to have got the Blues’ season back up and running.

The visitors to L4 this Thursday finished third in their native Cyprus last term, as well as picking up their second successive domestic cup victory.

They are no slouches.

They have won one and drawn two games in the league to date. An inconsistent start for a side looking for glory.

And in the opening set of fixtures in this year’s Europa League competition, Lyon left the Tsirion Stadium frustrated with a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw…

A good result for Everton if they fancy their chances of progressing through the group stages.

So Limassol have proved themselves to be a tough unit to break down. And with the way in which Everton’s attack has been playing so far, that’s not good reading…

The Blues will once again be without defensive pair Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka, after the pair picked up knocks leading up to that hard fought 2-1 win against Bournemouth last weekend.

So Mason Holgate is set to continue deputising for the missing England duo.

A blessing in disguise, because if Everton want that man Holgate to fulfil his big potential then games in his natural position will do just that.

A rash decision led to a goal against Bournemouth but thankfully, in the end, it didn’t prove costly for the 20 year old.

The hero of Saturday’s turnaround, Oumar Niasse, is unavailable for selection due to the Senegal international being absent from the Blues’ Europa League squad.

If his recent form is anything to go by, he’ll prove to be a massive miss.

But other than that, it is much the same squad wise to the one at Koeman’s disposal on Saturday.

One of the brightest sparks of the last two fixtures has been young Jonjoe Kenny at right back, with his stint in the first team picture set to carry on, due to his absence from the under 23’s 4-2 victory over Arsenal on Monday night.

The horror show of two weeks ago has faded away but Everton need to shape up if they hope to compete on four fronts.

The home games will prove vital if any joy is to be had in this season’s Europa League.

Up the Toffees.

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