Toffees hoping Krasnodar isn’t the sticking point in their season
Everton travel to Russia for the second game in their Europa League campaign knowing that another three points will put them in a great position.
At 2/1 to win with Coral, Roberto Martinez’s side are great value, having demolished Wolfsburg 4-1 in their first fixture at Goodison Park, and dug in to earn a hard-fought draw in the Merseyside derby.
The hero at Anfield, Phil Jagielka, who scored an injury time leveller, is 10/1 to be on target again anytime after his net-buster frustrated the team’s fierce rivals. This seems unlikely; however, it is amazing the effect grabbing your first goal in over a year can have, especially with such a special strike.
Kevin Mirallas is sidelined for four weeks, though, and will not feature for the away side, having torn his hamstring, which means there could be a chance for Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu, who is 5/1 to net anytime.
Against the Germans, full backs Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines experienced substantial joy, both getting on the scoresheet. Baines, who scored from the spot, is 5/1 to strike again on any occasion during the match, while the Irishman is 11/2 in the same market, if he recovers from injury in time.
Martinez, to his credit, has played to his side’s strengths, optimising the high energy approach that both players bring, as well as their willingness to get into the penalty area and combine with wingers.
For FC Krasnodar, their biggest threats could issue from the Brazilian trio of Wanderson, Ari and Joaozinho with each of them 11/2, 6/1 and 7/1 to get the first goal. The former two netted in the club’s 3-0 victory over Arsenal Tula last time out, and are renowned for giving defenders headaches.
The football club that was only founded in 2008 by retail billionaire Sergey Galitsky has enjoyed a meteoric rise in Russia. Situated 50 miles from the Black Sea, it is a formidable place for opponents to go, and their 13/10 favourites tag makes sense to those who do their research.
Romelu Lukaku, however will be hoping to open his account in Europe, and boss Martinez should be able to give him tips on how to get past defender Andreas Granqvist, who the Spaniard coached at Wigan Athletic. The Belgian, who will be also be vying for a starting spot in his country’s next Euro 2016 qualifiers, is 11/2 to strike the game’s opening goal, and 2/1 to notch anytime.