Standard Liege vs. Everton
The Anchor Man previews Thursday's Uefa Cup second leg clash.
The Belgian league isn’t the strongest in Europe, far from it, but Standard Liege are a side on the up and they should be able to see off Everton in the Uefa Cup on Thursday.
The home team were unlucky not to get the better of Liverpool in Champions League qualifying and despite the Toffee’s snaffling one of their best players on transfer deadline day, David Moyes stepping in with a £15m offer for Marouane Fellaini, I think they’ll have too much quality for the troubled Premier League side.
Wins over the newly promoted pair of West Brom and Stoke are all the Toffees have to show from a poor start to the season and their lack of goals will be a concern. They’ve really struggled against the better sides to make an impact in the final third of the field, highlighted clearly in their below par performance in the Merseyside derby on Saturday, and when Yakubu fails to deliver they rarely threaten.
Tim Cahill, currently serving a three match domestic suspension, is available but Liege are a formidable side on home turf, they’ve won every game at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne so far this season, and can emerge victorious.
The fact that a low scoring draw would be enough for the hosts to advance, the first leg finished 2-2 a fortnight ago, is slightly concerning but from what I’ve seen of the Juliper League side they look unlikely to try and contain and I expect captain Steven Defour to be pulling the strings for them in the middle of the park. He has attracted the attention of plenty of scouts around Europe over the past twelve months and can provide the ammunition for a strike force that will relish getting stuck into an Everton defence that has the worst record in the English top flight.
At the prices, the hosts have surely been underestimated once again and the 2.50 available about a home win looks good. Everton have been wretched in Europe in recent seasons and their record is unlikely to improve this evening.
Back Standard Liege WON @ 2.50
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