Everton will get the job done
Frank Monkhouse | 3 August 2017
Toffees to come through a sticky away day
Free-spending Everton go to Slovakia for a Europa League qualifying third round match vs Ruzomberok from 7.45pm on Thursday. The Toffees take a lead into the second-leg decider, but this match remains there for the taking.
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Hosts failed to impress last week
Everton were widely-tipped to win last week at Goodison Park in the first leg, and although the blues did just that, it was far from convincing, with the tie having a real pre-season feel about it. Fans who bothered to go along to take in the match live got a first glimpse of many of the side’s new signings, but it was far from impressive, the locals scraping through 1-0.
A win, and a win to nil, but considering the wealth of talent in the home dressing room, and the level of opponent lining up – Ruzomberok finished third in the Fortuna Liga last term – a more comfortable margin was expected. There was plenty of interest on three, four and five nil, but, at full-time, Ronald Koeman had to settle for the one. That sets up a nervy second leg.
Sharpness will return to their work
Go to Slovakia, score early and it’ll be game over. The tourists will put the game to bed and can enjoy stretching their legs in a decent warm-up before the Premier League season gets started next week. Lose a goal or go into the break at 0-0, and it’ll be panic stations. The underdogs to spring a surprise and win the match is 13/2. Worth an interest? It’s certainly a very nice price, while the 1-0 home win goes at 18/1.
To be fair to Everton, they did what they had to do last time. They would’ve planned to score a couple more, but to the players it was still the middle of summer, and it showed. They were creating chances, but just lacked that sharpness in the final third to turn possession into goals. With the game behind them, and another week of training under their belts, they’ll come good. Coral’s football traders offer up 4/11, and that looks worth a play. After more? Both score in an Everton win is 23/10.