Home Sports Football Europa League Stalemate likely at Goodison
Stalemate likely at Goodison

Stalemate likely at Goodison

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Everton welcome Lyon to Goodison Park on Thursday evening for a Europa League clash between two sides really struggling to locate the winning habit.

The Toffees have managed just two wins in 11 games in all competitions lately and the pressure is surely mounting on boss Ronald Koeman as a result.

Everton have one point from two games in the Europa League and, on current form, look likely to bow out at the group stage. A home win over their French opposition is 31/20 and surely mandatory to boost their hopes of qualifying.

Lyon too have been struggling lately, with only two wins from nine games, but their 3-2 win over Ligue 1 champions Monaco last time out should have provided a welcome confidence boost.

Group E is effectively wide open, with just a single win recorded thus far, when Everton were swept aside 3-0 by Atalanta in Italy.

There appears chronic of lack of confidence in the Toffees ranks right now, with Koeman admitting after their 2-2 draw with Apollon Limassol last time in Europe that his side looked “afraid to play”.

They trailed early in that game, before turning things around to lead but their season’s efforts were typified as they conceded in the closing moments to draw 2-2.

A draw against Lyon, priced at 12/5, looks the most likely outcome now. The visitors have plenty European experience and, bar their poor record of five defeats in eight previous away games against English opposition, would almost be fancied to win at Goodison Park.

The next visitors to Goodison are Arsenal on Sunday and like Everton they might be forced to accept a single point return in Europa League action on Thursday.

The Gunners are in Serbia to take on Red Star Belgrade, currently second to them in Group H. Arsene Wenger’s side has won both Europa League games so far, though not without an odd scare.

This is a potentially tough tie and, with that game against Everton on his mind, Wenger may shuffle his pack. Arsenal showed their weaknesses against at Watford on Saturday and backing them at 20/27 against a home side that has lost just once in ten games recently is a risky proposition.

A draw here, priced at 57/20, would effectively be a positive result for Arsenal with the same opposition next up at the Emirates, where the home side can take control of the group.

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Enda McElhinney

Our racing expert, Enda studies cards in both England and Ireland on a daily basis and knows all the details you need to know when trying to select a winner.

He is also a regular football writer and has strong knowledge of the Scottish game, with golf another specialised sport on his CV.