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Everton vs BSC Young Boys: Match Preview

Everton look to finish off their Swiss opponent in front of the Goodison faithful in this second leg match-up.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

February 26, 2015 8:05 pm BST, 3:05 pm EST

TV Info - Live Soccer TV

Referee - Stefan Johannesson

Assistant Referees - Fredrik Nilsson and Mehmet Culum

Additional Assistant Referees - Andreas Ekberg and Mohammed Al-Hakim

Fresh off of a disappointing draw to last place Leicester City, Everton look poised to finish off BSC Young Boys in the Europa League Round of 32. This season the Toffees seem incapable of beating the worst squad in the Premier League, but look unbeatable in Europe. Let’s hope we see the Europa League version of Everton as they are poised to move on to the Round of 16.

Team News

John Stones will miss this week's game against Young Boys after being sent off with a red card in the first leg. Sylvain Distin is likely to fill in for the 20 year old and Antolin Alcaraz will probably be the main option on the bench. In injury news, Aiden McGeady, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar, Tony HIbbert and Bryan Oviedo are all listed as doubtful for the match. Osman and Pienaar had recently featured in a U-21 match and may face a late fitness test ahead of the game.

UPDATE: Christian Atsu will miss tomorrow's match per Roberto Martinez

The Opposition

Young Boys will undoubtedly be looking to improve on their performance from the first leg that saw them lead early on, only to concede four goals. The Swiss side were demolished on their home field despite the apparent advantage of their artificial playing surface. Young Boys continue to be in good form in the Swiss Super League, having defeated league leader Basel 4-2 on Sunday leaving them five points out of first place. Young Boys have their work cut out for them in this match having allowed four away goals and down three goals in the aggregate.

What to Watch For

Roberto Martinez has a tough choice as to who to start at striker in this match. He could choose to go with Romelu Lukaku who is fresh off a hat trick in the first leg, but would be playing his third match in a week. Or he could go with Arouna Kone in order to rest Lukaku for this weekend's match against Arsenal. My money is on Kone getting the start due to Everton's sizable lead over Young Boys. Everton can't afford to give up more points in the Premier League and may need a full strength squad to take on Arsenal this Sunday.

Speaking of giving players a rest, do not be surprised if Martinez trots out a few of the bench players in place of the usual starters.  I wouldn't expect the skipper to put out as youth line-up as he did against Krasnador, but seeing the likes of Darron Gibson, Christian Atsu and Luke Garbutt would not be surprising. Due to the Toffees sizable lead over their opponent, Martinez will likely look to keep the score low and keep some of his starters rested for their Premier League fixtures.

Everton may be content with their lead, but they need to stay aggressive in order to ensure their place in the round of 16. Putting a goal or two on the board should seal the game for them, so they can not look to sit back and defend. This team has shown an inability to keep leads or come back from deficits throughout the season, so they should treat this game like as though they do not have a three goal lead.

The Final Word

Playing in front of their home crowd, Everton is likely to end this round on a high note and move forward in the Europa League. Their poor league form has left this competition as the only bright spot in an increasingly dismal season. For whatever reason Everton look like a completely different squad in the Europa League, and they should be aiming to keep that form throughout the remainder of the competition.