Ronald Koeman’s Everton were finally able to snatch a victory in the domestic league as they came back from a goal down to beat Bournemouth at the weekend. They resume action this Thursday as they get ready for their Europa League group stage clash against Apollon Limassol, a top-flight club from Cyprus.
The Toffees are definite favourites to take all three points, playing at home, but are sure to face decent competition from an in-form side in Limassol. Koeman has a few options to select from for this tie and here is the predicted lineup he might field:
The likes of Ross Barkley, Yannick Bolasie, Seamus Coleman and Roberto Funes-Mori all remain long-term injury concerns for the Toffees. Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane are both subject to late fitness tests while Wayne Rooney, who picked up a niggle recently, is expected to be fit for this tie.
Expected lineup (4-2-3-1)
While Jordan Pickford has been excellent, he was replaced by Maarten Stekelenburg in the first round of the competition and Koeman is expected to stick with him in this game as well. Mason Holgate is expected to keep his place as a full-back on the right wing while Leighton Baines will add the necessary impetus to both ends of the field on the left-side of the backline.
Ashley Williams is expected to take up the role as a senior centre-back in this tie while either Michael Keane is expected to return to action and take up his place at the heart of the Everton defence.
Former Southampton man Morgan Schneiderlin has been effective in recent games and he should keep his place in the middle of the park for Everton. He should be partnered by Idrissa Gueye, who had an excellent game at the weekend. Koeman should use his first choice midfield pairing to help keep up the momentum.
Nikola Vlasic did not fail to impress in his previous outing in the Europa League and Koeman should stick with him in the number 10 role in this tie. Wayne Rooney should be used the furthest in attack while the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen are both expected to play on the flanks.
Vlasic, Sigurdsson and Klaassen are all versatile and can play in any of the roles in attack and this dynamism, with Rooney leading the line, might just get the best out of Everton. This is probably the best game for Koeman to experiment and this could be a lineup that can blow teams away.
This is how they might line up: