UEFA Europa League: Wolfsburg v Everton

Defender Sylvain Distin says spirits within the Everton camp are high as they head into their crucial UEFA Europa League clash at Wolfsburg.

Roberto Martinez's side can secure their progression from Group H on Thursday by avoiding defeat, while a win will see them clinch top spot.

They prevailed 4-1 against the German outfit at Goodison Park in September, but have since had to settle for a draw on trips to Krasnodar and Lille.

However, with Saturday's 2-1 Premier League success over West Ham United extending their unbeaten run in both competitions to seven games, Distin is predictbly upbeat.

He told evertontv: "We're full of confidence at the moment. We always have been, to be honest.

"Even if things were a bit difficult at the beginning of the season, we were aware of our qualities and knew that things were going to get back on track. 

"At the moment, things are going well but it's going to be a tough game. Wolfsburg are a really, really good team and I'm sure after the game we had here they're going to try to reverse that."

The Bundesliga side will be aware of the threat posed by in-form striker Romelu Lukaku, who was linked with a move to the German outfit before completing a permanent switch from Chelsea to Everton in July.

The powerful 21-year-old has struck in three of his last seven club games and netted for Belgium during the international break.

Wolfsburg's run of eight straight victories in all competitions came to an end when losing 3-2 at Schalke on Saturday, but Dieter Hecking's side remain second in the Bundesliga behind Bayern Munich.

With five wins and a draw from six home games in Germany's top flight, plus a recent 5-1 thrashing of Krasnodar in front of their own fans, they will bid to book a place in the knockout rounds with another triumph.

Former Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner will be a familiar face to Everton fans and he goes into this game in great heart.

The Denmark international netted a brace in that rout of Krasnodar, another double in his country's 3-1 Euro 2016 qualification win in Serbia and also hit the target against Schalke.

Everton will be without Antolin Alcaraz and John Stones through injury, while Leighton Baines, Darron Gibson, Aiden McGeady, Steven Pienaar and Steven Naismith are all doubtful.

For Wolfsburg, Josuha Guilavogui, Ricardo Rodriguez and Vieirinha face fitness tests.