Europa Watch

Facts, stats, analyses and other information about Everton’s Europa League opponents.

Bradley Cates September 29, 201711:33 am

Lyon 1-1 Atalanta

Everton may have drawn against minnows Apollon Limassol, but so did Lyon, and the French side drew again against Atalanta, meaning the top two places in the group are still up for grabs for all four teams.

As you can see from the stats table below, Lyon absolutely dominated the game; the Italian side were very lucky to get away with a point. Lyon had 13 shots in the first half, 6 on target and 69% possession but they didn’t break the deadlock until near the end of the first half through former Chelsea player Bertrand Traore.

The start of the second half was fairly quiet. Lyon and Atalanta had one shot each before Alejandro Gomez equalised in the 57th minute for Atalanta from a free kick with their first (and only) shot on target in the game. Since that goal, Lyon tried to find a winner – they had 7 shots but their attempts were fruitless as only one managed to threaten the Atalanta goalkeeper.

Like Everton, Lyon should have had their first win in the group stage but had to settle for a draw. A lacklustre second half (in comparison to the first half) let Lyon down. Everton and Lyon will meet at Goodison Park in a couple of weeks, and Everton desperately need to prepare themselves for what Lyon have to offer, otherwise the game is lost before it even started.

Match Stats

Lyon Atalanta
1 Goals 1
21 Shots 5
7 Shots On Target 1
8 Shots Blocked 1
23 Successful Dribbles 11
18 Successful Tackles 22
7 Interceptions 23
15 Fouls 18
2 Offsides 2
50% Aerial Duels Won % 50%
86% Pass Accuracy 74%
64% Possession 36%


Bradley Cates September 15, 20173:02 pm

Apollon Limassol 1-1 Lyon

Apollon Limassol were expected to be the whipping boys in Everton’s group but they managed a credible draw against the much-favoured Lyon.

The first half ended goalless with both sides evening each other out. The Cypriot Cup holders were marginally ahead of Lyon with regard to shots (8-7) but they were more threatening as 3 of their shots were on target whereas Lyon only had 1. One of the possible reasons for Lyon’s lack of threat in the first half was because only 1 of those shots were inside the area whereas 4 of Apollon’s shots were inside the area. Lyon, however, at least attempted to pose a threat by making 19 dribbles (13 were successful) whereas Apollon made only 1.

The deadlock was broken on the 53rd minute through one-time Everton target Memphis Depay. The Dutch striker converted a penalty which was given after a disputed handball by Jander. Since the goal, Apollon did not give up and managed to find an equaliser in the last minute through Adrian Sardinero. Before that goal, it didn’t look like they were going to get one as between Depay’s goal and Sardinero’s goal, they made 6 shots but none were on target, including an 89th minute inside-the-box strike from Emilio Zelaya that went narrowly wide.

Overall, a draw was a fair result, and if Everton need stay in the competition after their humiliating defeat to Atalanta, they need to sort it out sooner rather than later because Apollon Limassol are by no means a guaranteed 3 points.

Match Stats

Apollon Lyon
1 Goals 1
18 Shots 16
7 Shots On Target 4
3 Shots Blocked 3
6 Successful Dribbles 17
19 Successful Tackles 14
21 Interceptions 14
12 Fouls 19
0 Offsides 1
53% Aerial Duels Won % 47%
83% Pass Accuracy 85%
48% Possession 52%


Bradley Cates September 12, 20171:44 pm

Atalanta Update

Everton’s first opponents had a shaky start, losing both of their first two games of the season to Roma and Napoli. They bounced back with a morale-boosting 4-1 friendly win over Alessandria. They kept the momentum going by beating Sassuolo 2-1 to earn their first Serie A win of the season. They fell behind through a Stefano Sensi goal but Andreas Cornelius and Andrea Petagna lift a huge weight of Atalanta’s shoulders.

Atalanta are currently 13th in the Serie A, and as both Atalanta and Everton had a tricky start to the season, the match on Thursday is anyone’s.

Bradley Cates September 12, 20171:36 pm

Lyon Update

Lyon have played twice since the Europa League draw – a 0-0 draw against Nantes and a 2-1 win over Guingamp. Nabil Fekir and Mariano have increased their tally to 4 goals apiece – the same as £198 million signing Neymar. A blossoming duo could be difficult for Everton to handle when the two sides meet.

Lyon’s 4 points meant that they are now 3rd in Ligue 1, behind PSG and Monaco, and they remain unbeaten. Lyon had also made a couple of new signings in the final days of the summer transfer window, acquiring Pape Cheikh Diop and Tanguy Ndombele.

Bradley Cates September 12, 20171:26 pm

Apollon Limassol Update

Apollon Limassol have played only one game since the Europa League draw – a 1-1 draw against Olympiakos Nicosia. Olympiakos led at half-time but Apollon earned a point courtesy of a Jander equaliser.

Also, there will be a small Merseyside rivalry when Everton and Apollon meet as the Cypriot side signed Liverpool midfielder Allan on loan. Is he going to do to Everton what Oumar Niasse did to Liverpool when he joined Hull on loan last season? A revenge loan, as it were.

Bradley Cates August 25, 201711:59 am

Highlights: Midtjylland 1-1 Apollon Limassol

Bradley Cates August 25, 201711:58 am

Highlights: Atalanta 0-1 Roma

Bradley Cates August 25, 201711:58 am

Highlights: Lyon 3-3 Bordeaux

Bradley Cates August 25, 201711:56 am

Apollon Limassol Factfile

Progressed to the group stage after knocking out Zaria Balti, Aberdeen and Midtjylland.
Finished 3rd in the Cypriot First Division last season with 73 points.
Won the Cypriot Cup last season, beating APOEL Nicosia 1-0 in the final.
Played against English opposition in Europe once before – against Liverpool in 1992/93 European Cup Winners’ Cup, losing 8-2 on aggregate.
Reached the group stages of the Europa League twice but only won 2 games.

Bradley Cates August 25, 201711:50 am

Atalanta Factfile

Only won one major honour in their history – the Coppa Italia in 1963.
Finished 4th in Serie A last season with 72 points.
Lost 1-0 to Roma on the opening weekend of Serie A.
Last season’s top goalscorer and potential threat was Alejandro Gomez, who scored 16 goals.
Players include former Cardiff striker Andreas Cornelius and former Middlesbrough midfielder Marten de Roon.
Playing in a European competition for the first time since the 1990/91 UEFA Cup.

Bradley Cates August 25, 201711:44 am

Lyon Factfile

Famously won Ligue 1 seven times in a row from 2001-02 to 2007-08.
Reached the semi-finals of the Europa League last season, getting knocked out by Ajax 5-4 on aggregate.
Finished 4th in Ligue 1 last season with 67 points.
Currently 3rd after 3 games following a 4-0 win over Strasbourg, a 2-1 win over Rennes and a 3-3 draw against Bordeaux.
Last season’s top goalscorer was Alexandre Lacazette but following his departure to Arsenal, Lyon signed Mariano from Real Madrid as a replacement. He scored 3 goals so far this season.
France international Nabil Fekir also scored 3 goals this season.

Bradley Cates August 25, 201711:37 am

Group E

Apollon Limassol

Bradley Cates August 22, 201711:09 am

Rudes 0-4 Hajduk Split

Hajduk Split bounced back from their 2-0 first leg defeat to Everton by taking their frustration out on Rudes.

Hajduk Split took the lead after just 12 minutes through Said Ahmed Said. Midway throught the first half, Rudes had a man sent off and another one six minutes later, both for two yellow cards – Rudes were down to 9 men after just 30 minutes. As the aforementioned scoreline suggests, the worst was inevitable.

Hajduk Split ended the first half 3-0 up with additional goals from one to watch Hamza Barry and Said Ahmed Said. Said completed his hat-trick just before the hour mark and much to Rudes’ relief, no further goals followed.

Bradley Cates August 12, 201711:18 pm

Hajduk Split 1-0 Slaven Belupo

Hajduk Split’s last game before they face Everton at Goodison Park ended in a 1-0 win over Slaven Belupo, courtesy of a goal from Franck Ohandza.

Hajduk Split were the more dominant of the two – more possession (55%-45%), more shots (15-7) and more shots on target (5-3). However, they were quite lacklustre in the first half – they had 6 shots, but only 1 was on target. But they broke the deadlock in the second half and secured the three points and a confidence boost ahead of Thursday.

Bradley Cates August 7, 201711:22 am

Dinamo Zagreb 3-1 Hajduk Split

The first of two Hajduk Split matches before the first leg ended in defeat against Dinamo Zagreb.

Last season, Dinamo Zagreb finished 2nd (behind Rijeka), which ended their run of 11 consecutive league titles. They badly want their trophy back and broke the deadlock after 9 minutes through a goal from Ante Coric, and it remained that scoreline at half-time.

Hajduk Split brought on last season’s top scorer Marko Futacs, hoping he can make an impact but on the 74th minute, he had an injury and was subbed off. Early signs suggest he could miss the first leg at Goodison Park.

In-between Futacs’ introduction and injury, Split found an equaliser through captain Zoran Nizic. But after Futacs’ injury, Split’s hopes of getting something out of this game faded quickly as a few minutes later, Dinamo Zagreb scored two goals in quick succession from former Barcelona academy player Dani Olmo and striker (who is peculiarly shirt number 2) El Arabi Hillel Soudani.

Hajduk Split never posed much of a threat in this game, registering only 3 shots (though all on target). However, Dinamo registered 10 shots with 8 of them on target.

It’s difficult to judge Hajduk Split based on this game as Dinamo Zagreb is unarguably Croatia’s greatest ever team, but their next match is against mid-table side Slaven Belupo on Friday, which should paint a better picture on how Hajduk Split perform.

Bradley Cates August 4, 20172:49 pm

Highlights: Hajduk Split 2-0 Brondby

Bradley Cates August 4, 20172:43 pm

Hajduk Split 2-0 (agg) Brondby

Everton’s play-off round opponents saw of Denmark’s Brondby to progress.

The first leg ended goalless and, as you can tell by the scoreline, there was very little action in the game as there were only 3 shots on target (Hajduk Split 2-1 Brondby). There were only 5 shots on target in the second leg but Hajduk Split were more critical after two second half goals from Ante Erceg sent the Croatian side through.

Brondby had more possession in both encounters but they couldn’t make their time with ball count. They had a total of only 3 shots on target and Hajduk Split made them pay.

Hajduk Split will be playing Dinamo Zagreb and Slaven Belupo before the first leg against Everton, while the Blues play a friendly against Sevilla and a Premier League match against Stoke.

Bradley Cates August 4, 201711:25 am

Hajduk Split Factfile

Finished 3rd in the Croatian First League last season.
Currently have 7 out of 9 points this season.
Managed by Joan Carrillo, who has 10 wins out of 19 games during his spell.
Striker Markos Futacs, who previously had spells at Portsmouth, Leicester and Blackpool, was the Croatian First League’s top scorer last season with 18 goals.
The last time Hajduk Split played against English opposition was against Stoke in 2011/12, where they got knocked out 2-0 on aggregate, losing both legs 1-0.
Hajduk Split have been in the UEFA Cup/Europa League in the past 11 seasons, but have only reached the group stage once.
Hajduk Split have played against English opposition 7 times and have been knocked out on every single occasion.

Bradley Cates August 4, 201711:15 am

Everton v Hajduk Split

Everton will be playing Hajduk Split in the Europa League play-off round. The games will be played on 17th and 24th August.

Hajduk Split progressed to the play-off round by knocking out Levski Sofia 3-1 on aggregate and Brondby 2-0 on aggregate.

Bradley Cates July 30, 20178:13 pm

Ruzomberok 4-0 Senica

Ruzomberok bounced back from their first leg defeat by thrashing Senica 4-0. Senica were down to 10 men after two yellow cards for Oliver Podhorin and from that moment, Senica were doomed. Ruzomberok broke the deadlock thanks to Dominik Kruzliak. Ruzomberok had a chance to double their lead two minutes later but Milos Lacny missed his penalty. Before half time, Ruzomberok had another penalty and this time, they did score with Kruzliak getting his second of the game.

In the second half, Ruzomberok extended their lead with goals from Nermin Haskic and a reprieve from Lacny. Ruzomberok’s annihilation was evident in not only the scoreline but the number of shots with Ruzomberok having 24 shots (10 on target) to Senica’s measly two.

Bradley Cates July 23, 20177:31 pm

Zlate Moravce 2-1 Ruzomberok

Ruzomberok’s first game of the league season and last game before their clash with Everton ended with a 2-1 defeat. Goals from Robert Gesnabel and Lubomir Urgela gave Ruzomberok their worst possible start to the league season. Former Middlesbrough loanee Peter Gal-Andrezly equalised for Ruzomberok but Everton’s opponents couldn’t find another one.
Bradley Cates July 20, 20177:02 pm

Brann 0-2 Ruzomberok (1-2 agg)

Everton’s Europa League opponents will be Ruzomberok as for the second consecutive round, the Slovakian club overturned a first leg deficit.
Goals from defenders Kristi Qose and Dominik Kuzliak earned them a trip to Goodison and Everton a trip to Cebratom, which holds over 4,800 fans.
Bradley Cates July 16, 20178:27 pm

Brann 0-1 Sarpsborg

Everton’s potential opponents have succumbed to a last-minute winner from Patrick Mortensen. That defeat means Brann have now won just once in their last 7 league games, and have failed to score in 4 of their last 6 league games.

Brann had the most shots in the game (8) but only one was on target, which came in the 20th minute. Brann kept possession throughout the game, they had 54% possession in the entire game and 56% in the last 15 minutes, but none of that mattered in the end.

The weakest player was Bismark Acosta, who scored the goal that gave Brann the advantage against Ruzomberok. He didn’t win a single tackle or make a single interception all game, and also committed 3 fouls. His passing has also been poor – his passing accuracy was just 60%.

Bradley Cates July 14, 201711:53 am

Bad Form Brann

Brann’s form in their last 6 league games is 1 win, 4 draws, 1 defeat – their win and defeat came against the same team, Stabaek (5-0 win and 2-0 defeat). They have also failed to score in 3 of their last 5 league games.

Bradley Cates July 14, 201711:50 am

Brann Factfile

Currently 2nd in the Eliteserien this season, 5 points behind Rosenborg.
Conceded only 13 league goals this season – the joint-fewest in the league.
One to watch is Fredrik Haugen – he has scored 3 goals and made 7 assists in 16 games in the Eliteserien this season.
Currently managed by Lars Arne Nilsen.
Last season, Brann finished 2nd – their highest position since they were champions in 2007.

Bradley Cates July 14, 201711:41 am

Ruzomberok Factfile

Finished 3rd in the Slovak First League last season.
Currently managed by former Slovakia midfielder Norbert Hrncar.
Founded in 1906 but didn’t win any major silverware until a century later – they won the Slovak First League and the Slovak Cup in 2006. They haven’t won a trophy since.

Bradley Cates July 14, 201711:21 am

First leg: Ruzomberok 0-1 Brann

A rematch against Brann is on the cards after a Bismark Acosta goal gave Brann the lead in the tie. However, Ruzomberok progressed to the second qualifying round by overturning a one-goal deficit against Vojvodina, so the game is by no means other.

Bradley Cates July 14, 201711:18 am

Everton v Ruzomberok/Brann

Everton will be playing Slovakia’s Ruzomberok or Norway’s Brann in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

Everton have never played Ruzomberok but they have played against Brann in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, beating the Norwegian side 8-1 on aggregate.

Bradley Cates July 14, 201711:04 am

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