Win in Wolfsburg would be a warning signal from unbeaten Everton
Everton, 3/1 for victory with Coral, make their way to the Volkswagen Arena knowing a win against Wolfsburg would mean they stay top of Europa Group H, but defeat would see them usurped.
Die Wolfe (odds-on favourites at 5/6 to triumph) are snapping at the Merseyside men’s heels, laying just one point behind the Toffees with two games to go, and will be looking to leapfrog their visitors.
Unbeaten in the Europa League, Everton have so far been steady if unspectacular on their away trips to the continent, picking up two draws against Lille and Krasnodar, and are 11/4 to split the spoils once more.
Although ending this intriguing encounter on even terms would be enough to retain their position at the pool summit, the Toffees should take the opportunity to display their competition credentials.
Roberto Martinez’s men have been unstable this season, frequently crashing from highs to lows in the Premier League, but were at their best when they dazzled a dazed Wolfsburg at Goodison Park earlier this season.
The Toffees smashed their group rivals 4-1, and are 125/1 to repeat that feat, although Dieter Hecking’s team should be much trickier opponents on home turf.
Currently chasing runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, high-flying Wolfsburg sit second in their domestic league, where they have racked up an impressive 24 goals in 12 games.
Former Chelsea schemer and Belgium international Kevin de Bruyne is credited as being the catalyst behind Die Wolfe’s impressive attacking stats, after providing nine assists in 12 league outings.
The talented 23-year-old’s record in Europe is even more exciting, having teed up two goals and struck three himself in four matches. Dangerous De Bruyne will be keen to pick up where he left off before the international break, and is 15/8 to be the main protagonist again and net anytime.
Everton’s Achilles heel has certainly been their backline during this campaign, as the Toffees have leaked 19 goals in the league.
As ever, Martinez has his team playing attractive and aesthetic football and the Catalan coach will no doubt be expecting his side’s potency to cover any defensive deficiencies.
Record signing Romelu Lukaku looks to be finally justifying his pricetag after opening scoring for the Merseysiders last time out and, after netting three in his last five league games, is 6/1 to strike first once again. Meanwhile, striker Aroune Kone is also set to make his return from injury after a year on the sidelines and has been included in the travelling squad, making him 10/3 to net anytime.
To their credit, Everton provide attacking ambition from all over the pitch, with six different scorers on target in their past five games, including in-form Leon Osman (14/1 to be in fire home last).
The likes of left-footer Leighton Baines and midfield grafter Osman have also been chipping in with offensive contributions. Meanwhile, for their part, Wolfsburg boast flying full back Ricardo Rodriguez (7/1 to score anytime) as a forward threat with four goals across all competitions this term.
All the ingredients are there for a thrilling goal-fest on German soil, with excellent odds of 12/1 for both teams to score in both halves.