Everton vs Hajduk Split Predictions, Betting Tips and Preview
Everton were comfortable if not spectacular in beating Ruzomberok 2-0 on aggregate in the last qualifying round, but those games were technically part of pre-season. Visitors Hadjuk Split are likely to provide a much tougher test and are already five games into their league season.
Game: Everton vs Hajduk Split
Venue: Goodison Park
Kick-off: Thursday 17th August, 8.05PM
Hajduk Split have began their season with four wins and a draw but were comfortably beaten by fellow title contenders Dinamo Zagreb last week. That game isn’t going to be as tough as a trip to Everton, and although the visitors have the edge in terms of games played, that probably doesn’t mean they’ll be any sharper in this modern day where players keep themselves so fit.
It’s going to be a case of large amounts of possession for Everton in this game and the hosts will need to find a way to keep them out. They’ll probably fail if history is anything to go by as Everton have scored at least two goals against five of their last seven Europa League opponents here, and they’ve faced considerably better sides such as Lille, Wolfsburg and Dynamo Kyiv in that time.
Everton are favourites to win this game at best odds of 1/4 with Bet365 which suggests a cruise here. The draw can be backed at 9/2 with Sky Bet whilst it would take some effort from the visitors who are outsiders at 13/1 with Betfair.
Everton took their time in both legs against Ruzomberok, wasting a host of chances at home before taking a second half-lead. It wasn't until the final 10 minutes that Dominic Calvert-Lewin came off the bench and put the tie to bed in the away leg, but 2-0 was not a complete reflection of just how Everton were over the two legs. It’s quite unthinkable to think Everton go up another gear or two yet and ensure they make it to the group stages.
Hajduk Split are a step up from Everton’s last opponents but with an extra three weeks of pre-season work in their leagues and a 1-0 win over Stoke to open their season last weekend, Everton will be far more prepared to take the game to the visitors here. Hadjuk reached this stage by beating Levski Sofia and Brondby, but it’s rare they face a side of Everton’s quality even once qualified.
Back our Free Betting Tip: Everton -1.5AH at 1.75 with Bet365
The away tie could be one of the trickiest ones Everton could have been given at this early stage of the competition. The partizan home crowd are likely to create a hostile atmosphere and Split have won eight of their last nine Europa League games at home. That said, they’re still beatable. But with some tough Premier League games either side of these ties, Everton will want to get this one sowed up as quickly as possible.
Back our Score Prediction: Everton 3-0 at 15/2 with Paddy Power
Wayne Rooney and are likely to play some part of this tie despite Everton’s fixture list build up, but he could find himself starting the game on the bench and unless Everton need him, they may not use him. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a potential starter, although the youngster likely to find himself in the XI against Manchester City and Chelsea either side of this game. Everton are short. Everton have a bit of depth out wide and Kevin Mirallas may come in for a start here.
Back our Scorer Prediction: Back Kevin Mirallas to score at 7/4 with Bet365