Goodison Park Goal Fest In The Europa LeagueStats
Everton v Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg travel to Goodison Park on Thursday night where they face Everton in the Europa League Group Stage at 8.05pm.
Everton picked up their first win of the season on Saturday as they came away from The Hawthorns as 2-0 victors thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku – his first since signing for the club on a permanent deal – and Kevin Mirallas.
Mirallas’ goal was his second of the season so far and puts him one behind Steven Naismith who is the club’s top scorer with three goals in four games. The Toffees have scored at least twice in all four of their 2014/15 Premier League games to date, but have also conceded a total of 10 in those four games, despite Saturday’s clean sheet.
Roberto Martinez’s men have won only one of their last five games at Goodison Park.
Wolfsburg finished last season in fifth position in the Bundesliga and have managed to keep most of that squad in tact. It’s been a slightly disappointing start to the new campaign having lost one and drawn two of their opening thee fixtures, although the defeat did come away to champions Bayern Munich.
Ivica Olic has scored two in three games so far this campaign, with Naldo and Maximilian Arnold getting the club’s other two goals in the Bundesliga so far.
Roberto Martinez has hinted that he will make some changes to his starting line-up but is fully intent on going as far as possible in the competition. He makes a valid point that “making changes to the line-up doesn’t mean you don’t care about a competition”.
Options may be limited however, with Samuel Eto’o, Ross Barkley, Sylvain Distin, Tony Hibbert, Arouna Kone, Bryan Oviedo and Steven Pienaar all on the injured list.
Nicklas Bendtner and Aaron Hunt both started Saturday’s game on the bench but were brought on towards the end as Wolfsburg chased an equaliser. It may be that Dieter Hecking believes they have done enough to warrant a start here.
This will be the first competitive meeting between the two teams.
Regardless of the team that Martinez puts out, Wolfsburg can be expected to provide a stern examination. At odds of 11/10 in the Match Odds betting, Everton are way too short for my liking. Both the draw and Wolfsburg are available to back at odds of 12/5, with a point apiece looking like the most likely outcome.
Everton games have produced plenty of goals so far this season and with Wolfsburg also scoring and conceding in each of their three Bundesliga matches to date it make sense to expect goals. Over 2.5 goals is priced up at 10/11 and looks a good solid bet, but I’d take that one step further and back Over 3.5 goals at odds of 11/5.