Roberto Martinez sent out a clear message of intent when he named a full strength Everton squad in their first Europa League Group H game against VfL Wolfsburg, and the Blues promptly hammered the German side 4-1 even though the game was probably closer than the scoreline reflected. Since then, the Toffees have suffered a couple of demoralizing losses and have lost some players to injury as well. A late equalizer in the Merseyside Derby spared the team's blushes, and we'll see today if that was just a false alarm or the team has really arrested its slide.
Steven Pienaar, Kevin Mirallas, Sylvain Distin, James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman are all first-teamers who did not make the long trek to Russia for today's match against FC Krasnodar. Youngsters Luke Garbutt, Tyias Browning and Ryan Ledson are all in the traveling party though, and could all see some action tonight. Read our Match Preview for more details.
The Russians are a bit of an unknown quantity in just their sixth year of existence and first in Europe. What we do know about them is that their youth system is excellent and they have supplemented the side with some foreign players who have made a decent impression so far. The Bulls (as they are known) are currently 7th in the Russian Premier League, and finished fifth last season. Krasnodar looked very composed as they drew 1-1 away to French side LOSC LIlle in their first group game.
We'll have starting lineups here as we get closer to the game. Stop by the comments section for a chat during and after the game.. COYB!
Everton (4-2-3-1): Howard; Hibbert, Stones, Jagielka, Baines; Gibson, Barry; Atsu, Osman, McGeady; Eto'o.
Subs - Robles, Oviedo, Browning, Alcaraz, Besic, Lukaku, Naismith.