The Wolves could find Toffees to their taste.
The Premier League and the Bundesliga have clashed on several fronts already this week and don’t expect this last match-up to be anything less than competitive.
Everton earned the unwanted distinction last season of amassing the most points by a team in the era of four English qualifiers not to make it into the Champions League. That shows the potential of this Toffees squad and Roberto Martinez wants to use the Europa League as preparation for a possible tilt at the Champions League in the years to come.
His team certainly isn’t short of experience. Samuel Eto’o has been there and done that with the likes of Inter and Chelsea and Martinez could recall the veteran striker against Wolfsburg along with centre-back Sylvain Distin, who also missed Saturday’s easy 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.
Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Miralles were both in Belgium’s World Cup squad while Gareth Barry, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman have plenty of international caps between them and Scotland’s Steven Naismith has been among the goals lately.
Like Everton, VfL Wolfsburg finished fifth in their domestic league last season and have Brazilian midfielder Luis Gustavo and former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner among their ranks this season.
The Germans’ squad also includes former Chelsea winger Kevin De Bruyne and veteran Croatian Ivica Olic but they’ve made a slow start to the new Bundesliga campaign, failing to win any of their first three games.
Coach Dieter Hecking will be wanting more from the Wolves but their European pedigree is relatively recent. They did make the group stages of the Champions League in 2009 but came third in their section behind Manchester United and CSKA Moscow.
Apart from that, their best effort came when reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup in 2010 before losing to Fulham.
Everton have started the season in better form than their opponents but may have other priorities this season and Wolfsburg have players who will cash in if their hosts aren’t focused. It may be worth a small wager on the Germans at 23/10 as they’ll play on the counter.
The visitors priced up at 9/2 to be winning at half time and full time, although we have faith in the Toffees’ not to come unstuck and concede to that particular outcome.
The match kicks off at 8.05pm on Thursday, September 18th at Goodison Park.