Everton’s disappointing Europa League campaign comes to an end when they travel to take on Apollon Limassol in Group E on Thursday night.
The Toffees have picked up just one point from their opening five group games – in a 2-2 draw against Sofronis Avgousti’s side at Goodison Park back in September – but, nevertheless, the men from Merseyside will want to sign off in style when they make the trip to Cyprus.
A chaotic campaign can be characterised by the fact that Sam Allardyce will become the third man to take charge of the Toffees in the Europa League thus far this term, after Ronald Koeman and David Unsworth, and the former England manager saw his side claim a fine 2-0 win against Huddersfield Town in his first match as manager on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the Toffees' poor European form, they are chalked up as SportPesa’s 6/4 (2.50) favourites to maintain momentum with a win here.
Apollon have drawn three of their five Group E games and, like Everton, they stand no chance of reaching the last 32 of the competition, but the Cypriot side will take heart from the fact that they have won each of their last three matches in domestic competition.
SportPesa offer 9/5 (2.80) that Apollon claim their first win of the group stage campaign against Allardyce’s men on Thursday, while the same firm go 12/5 (3.40) that these two teams again settle for a share of the spoils.
The hosts are unbeaten in their last nine home matches in this competition, including 1-1 draws against both Olympique Lyonnais and Atalanta, and SportPesa go 25/4 (7.25) that this match also ends in a 1-1 draw, while the same firm offer 20/21 (1.95) that there are fewer than three goals in this game.
The Toffees have conceded at least two goals in eight of their last nine matches away from home in all competitions whilst Apollon have found the net in each of their last 30 competitive fixtures on their own patch, and SportPesa offer 13/10 (2.30) that the Cypriots score more than once against the Premier League side.
Better value, though, may lie in backing Apollon to claim victory against the Toffees at 9/5 (2.80) with SportPesa; Allardyce’s charges face a crucial derby clash against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday and, with continued participation in the competition already out of reach, the men from Merseyside may not be fully focused when they take to the field in Cyprus.