By 90Min
September 27, 2017

Everton will look to get their Europa League campaign back on track on Thursday night when Cypriot side Apollon Limassol roll into town.

The Toffees want to bounce back from the appalling 3-0 defeat they suffered at Atalanta's hands two weeks ago, and are targeting a third home victory in all competitions in a row following successes over Sunderland and Bournemouth.

With plenty at stake already in the group stages for the Blues, here's everything worth knowing ahead of the contest:


Form

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Everton's 2-1 come-from-behind win over the Cherries on Saturday may have glossed over yet another inconsistent display, but two wins from two games has lifted the gloom around Goodison Park.

Before the triumphs in the Carabao Cup and Premier League, Ronald Koeman's charges had lost four successive matches - three of which came in the league around that loss to Atalanta - and a victory on Thursday will certainly help to further dispel that torrid time from L4.

Apollon currently sit eighth in the Cypriot top flight with five points from their opening three league encounters, and have tasted just one defeat in nine matches so far this term.

The reigning Cypriot Cup holders' 2-1 defeat to Aberdeen in their Europa League third round qualifier is their only blot on an otherwise clean run of results - a stretch which included a handy 1-1 home draw against Lyon in their opening group game a fortnight ago.


Key Men

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With recent goalscoring hero Oumar Niasse not registered as part of Everton's 25-man squad for continental competition, the Toffees' dangerman tag is up for grabs.

We suspect that someone like Tom Davies, who has three assists in his last two appearances, will prove to be an underrated part of whatever side Koeman throws out on Thursday, so don't bet against the wonderkid midfielder helping to drive the home side forward in search of a win.

Apollon have spread the goals around evenly so far this campaign, but it is hard to look past top scorer Andre Schembri as the key component of their attack.

The Maltese striker has four goals in 10 games and, with his versatile nature allowing him to play either on the left wing or up top, his movement and finishing could be a danger to Koeman's Blues.


Team News

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As stated, Everton will be without the revitalised Niasse, and the striker will join long-term absentees Yannick Bolasie, Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and Ramiro Funes Mori on the sidelines.

James McCarthy is also unlikely to be fit enough to feature in his first Toffees game of the season, while Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane have failed to overcome their own knocks to take part.

Apollon boss Sofronis Avgousti appears to have no injury problems ahead of his side's trip to Merseyside but he could decide to mix his own starting lineup to keep his stars fresh for their next league game.

Predicted Everton starting lineup: Stekelenburg; Kenny, Holgate, Williams, Baines; Gueye, Davies; Mirallas, Rooney, Sigurdsson; Sandro.

Predicted Apollon starting lineup: Vale; Joao Pedro, Yuste, Roberge, Jander; Sachetti, Kyriakou; Maglica, Alex de Silva, Jakolis; Schembri.


Prediction

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Everton have never taken on Cypriot opposition before, but have fared well against neighbouring Greek teams in the past.

That record could give some idea of the Toffees managing to bag a win to get their European venture back on the rails, although they will have to guard against a side that have notched 19 goals in all competitions.

We can see Apollon scoring at Goodison, but with the talent available, Everton should see this one home and dry.

Prediction: Everton 2-1 Apollon Limassol

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