Everton - Benfica

Everton have noticed a run of six competitive games without a win (3 draws and 3 defeats). Main reason for that and for underachieving so far (only 3 wins from 10 games in Premier and 13th place) is injury list where in one moment nine regular players appeared. Moyes still has a lots of problems with injured players, but beside Arteta (has repeated his knee injury and will be absent for a while) situation becomes better. The biggest problem lately, defense line should be decent with Hibbert, Yobo, Distin and Baines. In first game, Toffees got not a slap, but fist in the face (0-5). Moyes tried to rest some players, push some youngsters on the big scene and suffered pure humiliation. Louis Saha is in doubt, while John Heitinga and Lucas Neill are both ineligible. Everton have a great record in Europe at Goodison and have netted in all 10 of their European games at Goodison under David Moyes.


Benfica have decent squad and their performances so far look respectable. Strong midfield with Pablo Aimar as a playmaker, new Man.Utd. transfer target Ángel Di María on the wing and Saviola and Nuno Gomes in front scored 33 goals on last 10 games. But, the obvious is they’re not the same side on away games. For the weekend lost vs. Sporting Braga 0-2, in Europa League lost in Greece vs. AEK 0-1, before that in qualification were defeated from unknown Ukrainian side Vorskla 1-2. In fact they haven’t won in last seven European games on the road.  Manager Jorge Jesus will make some changes to first eleven. In front the goal will be Brazilian Júlio César who plays only in Europe, while mentioned Aimar should start the game from the bench.


Dignity is hurt and Everton seek revenge. No room for resting the players and I believe the best eleven will play (maybe without unfit Saha). Win tonight would boost team morale and game like this is necessary for getting back on track. Benfica won’t surrender, but would be absolutely satisfied with a draw. Little problem is bookies also got the latest team info and odds have decreased in past few hours. However, still worth of a bet. So, 1 dnb.


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