Lille To Come Unstuck Against Toffees
Everton v Lille
Everton can take a giant leap towards the knockout stages of the Europa League with another three points here.
Having played the final quarter of the game against 10 men, Saturday’s draw against Swansea was a slightly disappointing one for the Toffees. But it does mean that Everton are now unbeaten in their last four games in all competitions, including another goalless draw in the reverse of this fixture in France.
Tim Howard has kept three clean sheets and conceded only one goal in that period, while both Samuel Eto’o and Romelu Lukaku have scored two each in the same timeframe.
Roberto Martinez’s men currently top Europa League Group H with five points following a home win against Wolfsburg and draws away to FK Krasnodar and Lille.
Lille, by contrast are without a win in six games in all competitions and have slipped to 12th in the Ligue 1 table. Having built their early-season success on a solid defence that didn’t concede a goal in their first six Ligue 1 home games, they’ve now kept only one clean sheet – against Everton a fortnight ago – in their last six games in all competitions.
Striker Michael Frey scored Lille’s goal in the 1-1 draw with St Etienne at the weekend, his first in nine appearances since joining the club from Swiss side Young Boys. Liverpool bound Divock Origi hasn’t scored for Lille since the beginning of October when he scored from the penalty spot against Wolfsburg.
Kevin Mirallas and John Stones remain sidelined by respective hamstring and ankle injuries, while Bryan Oviedo and Arouna Kone are still unavailable but have stepped up their rehabilitation programmes recently. Roberto Martinez has named relatively strong teams throughout this competition although has opted to make some changes to his Premier League starting XI.
I had anticipated a few goals in the reverse meeting between the two teams a fortnight ago, but they didn’t materialise and a drab goalless draw ensued. That is the only previous meeting between the Merseyside and French clubs.
Odds of 4/5 on a home win look fairly generous to my eyes as an Everton side that are beginning to find their feet this season come up against a Lille team that are traversing a contrasting form line.
It may pay to wait until we see the team news, but I expect Martinez to name a strong XI and therefore the 11/5 about Everton -1 is also appealing.
Although I had my fingers burnt by the goalless draw in Lille after suggesting bets on Over 2.5 goals and an Everton win, I’m going to stick with that approach here and also suggest a bet on the 11/10 about Over 2.5 goals this Thursday night. The Toffees have scored three goals in two of their last four fixtures and five of their six games at Goodison Park this season have featured more than 2.5 goals.