Everton start their Europa League adventure tomorrow night against Slovakian side, MFK Ruzomberok in the third qualifying round.
Given Everton’s superior squad, can they make home advantage count and kill the tie off at Goodison Park?
New Toffee signings; Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen and Cuco Martina are in line to make their home debuts here.
Wayne Rooney is however preparing for his first Goodison Park appearance since resigning from Manchester United.
Wantaway, Ross Barkley has been ruled out after groin surgery. He joins Yannick Bolasie (knee) and Seamus Coleman (broken leg) on the side lines.
Ruzomberok have no reported injuries.
Who are MFK Ruzomberok?
Wondering who the Slovakian visitors are?
MFK Ruzomberok finished third in last season’s Fortuna Liga and this is their first European campaign in 11 years.
To get to here, Ruzomberok have knocked out Serbia’s FK Vojvodina and Norway’s SK Brann in the first two rounds. Across both ties, they scored five goals and conceded three.
Their favourite formation is 4-5-1.
Everton’s to lose
Everton should easily come through this no matter what with their quality shining through.
The visitors’ formation will however prove to be a defensive challenge, if they get down the flanks towards the corner flags before whipping the ball into the box with that heavy midfield approach
You could say that Ruzomberok are a bit like Leicester of 2015-16 in that they don’t rely on any big stars. Their performances are all team effort based so expect to see them marking Everton players down as a group.
With Ronald Koeman taking this competition seriously, anything less than a win will be disappointing so I reckon they will scrape a ugly but comfortable 2-0 result.
Prediction: Everton 2-0 MFK Ruzomberok
Result: Everton 1-0 MFK Ruzomberok