Football journalist working in Liverpool covering both Everton and Liverpool in the Premier League and Champions League/Europa League.
Backing Everton to be in front at half time would be smart
Hajduk's home record in Europe makes betting on them getting a goal a wise choice
Everton will be keen to make sure there are no nerves in Croatia
With a 2-0 advantage from the first leg behind them, Everton will be more than confident of securing their progress to the Europa League group stages in Croatia.
The 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Monday should also provide something of a confident boost for this trip.
The Blues were close to dominant in the first leg at Goodison Park and should have scored more to make the second leg a non-entity, something that irritated manager Ronald Koeman.
Nonetheless, they showed for much of that game that they are far superior to their opponents, with their defence limiting them to mostly half chances and their forward line carving open the visiting defence time and time again.
Unlike their travelling fans, Hajduk did show their good side and posed some questions of the Everton backline in the latter stages of the second half.
A 2-0 scoreline is by no means the end of the world and were they to get the first goal in this game, it could prove to be a very interesting encounter indeed.
D W W W W
W L W L W
Everton currently have the second most injuries in the Premier League, with six of their first-team squad out injured. Sandro Ramirez is a doubt after picking up an injury against Stoke on the opening day and missing the trip to Manchester City, while James McCarthy is also absent. Ross Barkley, Yannick Bolasie, Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori remain long-term absentees.
Hadjuk will have nearly all of their squad to pick from, with striker Márko Futács their only player out injured at this moment in time.
Ronald Koeman will stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation that served him well in the first leg of this game.
The defence largely picks itself, with the only question being over who partners Michael Keane in the heart of it. Phil Jagielka may be drafted in given the trip to Chelsea on Sunday.
The midfield is also likely to remain unchanged with Morgan Schneiderlin, Idrissa Gana Gueye and Davy Klaassen the preferred three. Gylfi Sigurdsson is unavailable as he wasn't a part of the registered squad.
After starring in the first leg, expect to be utilised Ademola Lookman on the wing again, the youngster adds pace and direct running to the Blues forward line.
Stekelenburg, Holgate, Jagielka, Kenny, Besic, Mirallas, Lennon; Sigurdsson.
Bosancic, Ohandza, Letica, Basic, Sehic, Tudor; Erceg.
Everton have only lost one of their last six away trips in Europe, winning three and drawing two. That loss was to Dynamo Kiev back in 2015 under Roberto Martinez.
The Blues have also scored at least two goals in three of their last six away games in Europe. However, there have only been over 2.5 goals in two of those six games.
Everton are yet to concede in the Europa League this season. Indeed, they've kept a clean sheet in three of their last six trips in the competition.
Hajduk Split have scored in five of their last six home games in Europe. They've managed at least two goals in four of those six.
However, those goals have been needed as the Croatian side have conceded a goal in at least four of those last six games. They have kept a clean sheet in their last two, though.
Half of those last six home games in Europe has seen both teams scoring and over 2.5 goals in total.
Idrissa Gueye has upped his game since last season. No longer just a ball Winner and midfield shield, the Senegal international is now actively involving himself in Everton's attacking play, something that saw him getting on the score sheet in the 2-0 win at Goodison Park.
Forward Ahmed Said has four goals in four league games this season, making him Hajduk's top goalscorer. Given how Ohandza struggled in the first leg, he may be given his chance to take that form into Europe.
Once again it's hard to see Everton losing this one; they were dominant for most of the first leg and really should have scored more than the two goals they managed. With a trip to Chelsea coming up after this fixture, they'll be keen to get the tie done with as quickly as possible.
Everton to win 2-1 is 17/2 with PaddyPower
Everton: 15/13 (Ladbrokes)
Draw: 5/1 (Betfred)
Hadjuk Split: 14/15 (SkyBet)
Everton will be want to get this game done with, and qualification sorted, as quickly as possible. It's easy to imagine them getting their goals in the first half. Coral and Ladbrokes will give you odds of 9/5 for them to be leading at half time.
The Blues have scored two goals in three of their last six away games and will be determined to ensure there are no nerves in this one. Coral will give you 5/4 for them to score at least two again here.
Hajduk are unlikely to roll over though and given they've scored in all but one of their last six home games, odds of 10/11 from William Hill for both teams to score look a good choice.
Like the first leg, it would be a huge shock were Everton not to win this one. Still, Hajduk will put up a fight after letting themselves down at Goodison Park.
Everton to win and both teams to score is 15/4 @ Bet365.
Dec 3rd, 2017, 0 comments
Nov 1st, 2017, 2 comments