Everton looking to kill off Young Boys Europa League tie
Europa League 16/1 chances Everton may be struggling in the Premier League this season, having won just one of their previous 10 in the top flight, but have been impressive on the continent.
The Toffees won Group H in this competition, ahead of the likes of Bundesliga high-flyers Wolfsburg and French side Lille, and smashed Young Boys Berne in the first leg of the last 32.
Everton now face the Swiss side again at Goodison, and go into the game as odds-on 8/13 favourites for victory in 90 minutes, and a massive 1/250 to qualify to the next round.
Young Boys, though, come into this game on the back of beating Basel 4-2 in Switzerland’s top-flight, and are 9/2 to win the leg in normal time, or 11/4 to get a draw. You can take odds of 40/1 for them to somehow reach the last 16.
Big Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku was the hat-trick hero for Everton in the first leg of this tie, and he is evens to net anytime again, 5/1 for two or more and 20/1 for another treble. Seamus Coleman was also on target that day, and is 7/1 to grab another.
The fact that the Toffees hold a three-goal lead means that Roberto Martinez can afford to rotate his team, to keep some star players fresh for their fight to get back into the top 10 in the Premier League.
Stars such as Aidan McGeady, Tony Hibbert, Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman are all out injured anyway, while John Stones is suspended after getting sent off last time out. That means the likes of youngsters Courtney Duffus and Luke Garbutt could get a run out, and Real Sociedad-linked Bryan Oviedo should start.
However, despite Everton’s big lead, Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy is fully focussed on finishing the job off.
“We have a big lead but we won’t take any prisoners,” he said. “We have to put a show on and it is two big games coming up.
“We have come back from a great result in Europe but we need to try and get the wins at home. The fans have come out in their numbers and we need to go again on Thursday.
In terms of goals for Young Boys, Guillaume Hoarau netted in the first leg, as well as against Basel, and he is 9/4 in the anytime market. English-born Swiss international defender Scott Sutter, meanwhile, could feature, and he is priced at 8/1.