At the start of the campaign, Everton would’ve known that a group containing Atalanta and Lyon was always going to be hard to get out of, but the Merseyside Club will no doubt have been hoping to perform better than they have. The Toffees have long since been heading out, but this final fixture provides one last opportunity for them to restore some dignity. Similarly, Apollon are also unable to progress, though, their fate was far more expected back in September.
With both Everton and Apollon without even the slightest chance of making the knockouts, this game is ultimately pointless; however, new boss Sam Allardyce will be looking to utilise it by assessing his options. Keeping this in mind, the visitors, who have players vying for places under the new manager, could come here and put in far more of an effort than one might think.
At the prices, ‘Both Teams to Score’ stands out. As is common knowledge, neither of this pair have defended well throughout the group process, so it would be no surprise if the goals arrived once more on Thursday evening.
Not only have both Everton and Apollon failed to keep a clean sheet in the Europa League this season, but the match the pair played at Goodison Park serves as an excellent indicator. In that encounter, though Everton did dominate overall, both teams found plenty of attacking joy. With the pressure off here, much of the same is fancied.
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As alluded to above, Everton have struggled defensively in this competition. You could argue that playing against a couple of teams such as Atalanta and Lyon didn’t help, but The Toffees didn’t exactly shine from a defensive point of view when conceding two against Apollon in the reverse fixture. Thursday’s visitors are without a clean sheet in this competition this season, and, even with Allardyce at the helm, it’s hard to see them keeping one here, especially since Apollon have scored in each of their two previous home fixtures in Group D. Fortunately for Everton, the hosts have also been abysmal at the back, and so there is hope for them going forward.
Like the visitors, Apollon have kept zero clean sheets in this group and, in fairness, they’ve never really looked like keeping the opposition out. However, in an attacking sense, the Cypriot outfit have perhaps surpassed expectations, as they’ve notched in all but one of their five matches, scoring a respectable total of five goals. Against an Everton back-line that has also found shutouts incredibly hard to come by, the hosts should fancy their chances of once again getting on the score-sheet.
A couple of additional bets ahead of this one, ‘Ademola Lookman to Score Anytime’ and ‘Draw’. The young striker is expected to start in big Sam’s first Europa League managerial role as he takes a young squad to Cyprus. Against a dodgy Apollon back-line, he should be more of a threat. As far as the result goes, with a massive disparity in quality unlikely, backing the draw, at the prices, makes plenty of appeal.
Football predictions including accumulators, both teams to score, both teams to score and win, correct score and £10 to £1,000 challenge!