Everton’s Europa League dream has already been dashed but the men from Merseyside can claim a much-needed morale-boosting victory when they welcome Atalanta to Goodison Park.
The Toffees had high hopes when they kicked off their Group E campaign in Italy back in September, but Everton were brought crashing back down to earth with a bang as Gian Piero Gasperini’s men enjoyed a thrilling 3-0 victory on home soil.
Since then, things have gone from bad to worse for Toffees, for they have collected just one point from their subsequent three group games and, following a dismal 3-0 defeat against Olympique Lyonnais last time out, Everton have already been eliminated from the competition.
More than four weeks have passed since Ronald Koeman was relieved of his duties as Everton manager but no permanent successor has yet been identified and, so, David Unsworth will continue in his caretaker role for Thursday’s tussle.
Everton’s most recent home fixture provided one of the few bright spots of the season as they came from 2-0 down against Watford to claim a terrific 3-2 victory, and SportPesa offer 43/20 (3.15) that Everton enjoy back-to-back home wins by seeing off the Serie A side here, while the same firm go 47/20 (3.35) that the match ends in stalemate.
Atalanta, though, will offer stiff opposition, for Gasperini’s men are locked in a fierce fight with Lyon for supremacy in Group E; both teams have eight points after four matches and victory here could well give the Italian side the edge in the battle for top spot.
The visitors, therefore, will certainly not be lacking in motivation and SportPesa offer 13/10 (2.30) that Gasperini’s men take all three points on Merseyside.
Everton have often failed to fire in front of goal this term and, so, Unsworth will be encouraged that his side have scored five goals in their last two outings; a major concern, though, is that the Toffees have leaked at least two goals in each of the five fixtures that the caretaker boss has overseen and have managed just one clean sheet in their last 18 games in all competitions.
Atalanta are, themselves, without a win in four matches, but their 2-0 defeat against Inter on Sunday was the first time in which Gasperini’s charges have failed to find the net since being beaten by Roma on the opening weekend of the Serie A season.
There is, therefore, plenty of potential for goals in this game and SportPesa’s 20/27 (1.74) quote for goals at both ends looks to be a solid selection; better value, though, could lie in backing Thursday’s tussle to produce at least three goals at 20/23 (1.87) with the same firm.
Over 2.5 goals at 20/23 (1.87) for a 1pt stake with SportPesa