Europa League: Everton v WolfsburgJake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016
Everton are set to begin their first European campaign since 2010 when they host Wolfsburg at Goodison Park on Thursday.
Roberto Martinez’ men won their first game of the Premier League season against West Brom on Saturday but their German opponents have yet to win the Bundesliga this season.
With both teams returning to the European stage for the first time in two years, neither side will be overly confident as they meet their biggest rivals in Group H.
Martinez has been quick to emphasize how seriously they take top-level football at Everton and the importance of playing in the Europa League. He said, “The Europa League right now is a great competition and probably where we need to be testing ourselves. The only way to fulfil our potential is by playing games like this one.”
Samuel Eto’o is likely to return in time for the clash having missed the Toffees’ 2-0 victory over West Brom on Saturday due to a groin injury.
Defender Sylvain Distin who had been side-lined with a hip problem also looks set to return alongside Tony Hibbert, who has been out since February due to a series of injuries.
Wolfsburg will be without Ivan Perisic on the wing, however Brazil international Luiz Gustavo is expected start alongside ex-Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.
Die Wolfe defensive record is feeble at best, having conceded more than twice as many goals in the Bundesliga last season as champions Bayern Munich. Everton are well placed to take advantage of this having not failed to score in their last 14 fixtures at home.
Wolfsburg make up for their frail defence with an even better attacking record, having scored in every single one of their last 29 league matches. Everton have already conceded 10 goals in their first four games of the Premier League season.
Europa League Betting Tips
With both teams playing strong attacking sides it looks like this could be a high-scoring game, but Everton definitely have the edge if they can keep their defence solid.
Everton to win – 19/20 – a £10 bet returns £19.50 at Ladbrokes
Wolfsburg to win – 11/4 – a £10 bet returns £37.50 at Ladbrokes
Draw – 5/2 – a £10 bet returns £35.00 at Ladbrokes