Everton v Lille: Barkley ready to fire

Everton will look to take control of UEFA Europa League Group H when entertaining Lille on Thursday.

The Merseyside outfit followed up an opening 4-1 defeat of Wolfsburg at Goodison Park with a 1-1 draw at Krasnodar before picking up another valuable point against this week's opponents in France.

That goalless stalemate at Stade Pierre-Mauroy was a far more entertaining encounter than the scoreline suggests, with both sides going close to claiming victory.

However, Everton will be hopeful of making home advantage count in the return fixture, with Lille having failed to score on four of their five previous trips to England.

Midfield playmaker Ross Barkley had only just returned to action following a pre-season knee injury before the first encounter but now feels ready to recapture his best form.

"I am buzzing to be back," he told the club's official website. "It was frustrating at the time being injured and it was hard to be in the stands watching all the lads out there playing. I am relieved to now be back out on the pitch."

With the 20-year-old having impressed for England in the build-up to the World Cup and also during the Brazil showpiece, he will now attract plenty of attention from the opposition.

However, the home-grown Liverpudlian is confident he has the strength of character to cope with being a marked man.

"It is hard when teams target me but I know I have a lot to learn," added Barkley. "The more I play, the more I learn how to deal with things like that. 

"It's just about growing up and knowing that teams are going to put pressure on me. It is flattering in a way if teams have to put two men on me!"

For Lille, Belgium forward Divock Origi will be keen to showcase his talents on Merseyside, with the 19-year-old forward having been loaned back to the club after signing for Liverpool in July.

The French outfit have been struggling for goals in Ligue 1 this term, with just nine scored in 12 games, but Origi's pace troubled Everton a fortnight ago and he will need to be well marshalled here.

The visitors also have 18-year-old Manchester City playmaker Marcos Lopes on loan but he had to come off at half-time against Saint-Etienne on Saturday after only just recovering from a hamstring injury.