Everton’s foray into the Europa League continues this evening as they travel to Slovakia to face MFK Ruzomberok. Ronald Koeman’s men take a slender lead going into this tie thanks to Leighton Baines’ deflected strike last Thursday and they will look to secure their place in the play-off round later tonight.
The Goodison Park outfit looked like a team that was still trying to gel with so many new faces on show last week and another one will be making his debut later on as £30m signing Jordan Pickford will be giving the opportunity to start in goal.
His signing from Sunderland is one of a number of names that have arrived at Merseyside this summer as the club look to not only solidify their top seven status in the Premier League but also attempt to gatecrash the top six this time around.
Another of those signings is Wayne Rooney who was charged with leading the line in the first leg, a task that he did not quite fulfill and only really looked more comfortable when playing in a slightly deeper role. He was an injury doubt going into this game but is fit enough to be included from the start.
With that in mind, Sandro Ramirez who came off the bench last week and undoubtedly gave Everton more of an attacking threat is likely to be given the opportunity to display his talents from the off. There is no doubt that the club will miss the goals that Romelu Lukaku provided over the years, the hope will be that the young Spaniard can go some way to filling that void.
Last week’s encounter did have the air of a pre-season friendly at times but Ruzomberok did give Everton the odd scare and they were perhaps unlucky to end up on the losing side, with the home crowd behind them they could cause more troubles in a few hours time.
Everton cannot afford to take them lightly and look beyond the Slovak opposition which is front of them right now, but even though this team has not quite clicked yet you would imagine that they will still have enough to progress to the play-off round. It should be a solid if not spectacular win for the Toffee’s tonight.