Lille vs Everton PreviewJake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016
Lille vs Everton | Thursday 23 October, 2014 | Stade Pierre-Mauroy | Kick off 18.00
Everton travel to Lille on Thursday for their third Europa League game and will be hoping to boost their lead at the top of Group H with several players returning from injuries.
The Blues made a strong start to their European campaign with a home victory over Wolfsburg in September, but since then they’ve failed to register a win in five games across all competitions.
Roberto Martinez’ side have been plagued with injuries but they’ll be hoping to make an impact on Thursday as several of their most important players returned in time for Saturday’s league game against Aston Villa and will be fighting fit in time for the clash against Lille.
Against Villa, Everton were impressive right back Seamus Coleman returning from injury to net a goal in their resounding 3-0 victory. England international Ross Barkley also played a key role in his first game of the season following a knee problem.
James McCarthy, who has been out since September with a muscle strain, commented, “We’ve had a sticky enough start – we wanted to get more points on the board but unfortunately results haven’t gone our way.
“But now we’re looking to kick on – it was a big win at the weekend and we hope to kick-start the season from here.”
The major threat from Lille comes from Divock Origi who is on currently on loan from Liverpool. The teenage wunderkind has scored three goals in Ligue 1 as well as a penalty in Europe to secure the 1-1 tie against Wolfsburg.
Origi commented on Lille’s Group H draw saying, “Our Europa League section could be a Champions League one give the high-level teams. We know it’ll be the small details that make a difference.”
For Everton it could be Steven Naismith that acts as their secret weapon in their European campaign. The Scotland international has pulled several stellar performances out of the bag in recent matches, scoring last week for Scotland against Poland.
Working alongside Naismith will be Romelu Lukaku who netted Everton’s third goal at the weekend. The duo look to be a formidable pairing and Lille will have their work cut out keeping the goals out.
It’ll be a close game and an exciting one to watch with both teams likely to score, although Lille at home are the current favourites to claim the victory.