It is still early days in terms of preparation for Marco Silva’s debut campaign as Everton boss, but the preseason fixtures are coming thick and fast. The blues face LOSC Lille on Saturday, before tackling F.C. Porto on Sunday.
Everton have had a bizarre couple of clashes so far, starting with the 22-0 annihilation of amateur Austrian side ATV Irdning.
But the Algarve Cup will be the Toffees’ toughest test so far.
First up is Lille, who had a season to forget last time around, with the French outfit narrowly avoiding relegation into Ligue 2. They managed a 17th place finish and will be hoping for a lot better this campaign .
Everton faced Les Dogues twice in 2014 in the group stage of the Europa League, a goalless stalemate in France before goals from Leon Osman, Phil Jagielka and Steven Naismith saw Roberto Martinez’s team ease to a 3-0 win at Goodison.
Porto are the opposition 24 hours later. The Portuguese side had a dream campaign, winning their 28th Primeira Liga after a five year drought.
Everton came face to face with Porto in Leon Osman’s testimonial back in 2014, playing out a 1-1 draw in L4, Naismith was once again on the scoresheet before Jackson Martinez’s goal squared it up .
Team news —
Idrissa Gana Gueye was in the Lille side in both fixtures four years ago, and now the Senegal international has returned to training after his well earned break following his World Cup exploits. He is in line to face his old club in Portugal.
Gylfi Sigurdsson has also rejoined the group but Jordan Pickford is still away after his heroics for England.
Ademola Lookman and Theo Walcott have both stayed at USM Finch Farm whilst they step up there recovery from knocks.
Yannick Bolasie and Cuco Martina haven’t travelled due to illness.