Skip to main content

UEFA Europa League: Young Boys v Everton

After progressing into the last 32 as winners of Group H, Everton were pitted against Swiss Super League outfit Young Boys, who qualified as runners-up from Group I behind Napoli.

Young Boys went into their mid-season break in fine form, reeling off seven successive victories in all competitions, and a draw and a win in the league since their return to action has set them up nicely for the visit of Everton to the Stade de Suisse.

Everton's one and only triumph in European competition came via the now defunct Cup Winners' Cup 30 years ago, and victory in the Europa League this year would see Roberto Martinez's men qualify for the Champions League in 2015-16.

"For me, we want to win the Europa League, and of course finish in the top positions in the Premier League," Oviedo told the Liverpool Echo.

"Both are very important for us. Of course, that means we will need to be very strong between now and the end of the season. We have to give our maximum.

"But we know what we can do. We have shown that in Europe already this season, against some very good teams.

"We need to be strong in the next game, against Young Boys. It's going to be a very difficult game. They will play it like a final, and that's what we need to do, treat it like a final.

"We need to get a good result over there, to bring them back here for the second leg."

Everton were unbeaten away in the group stage of the competition, earning draws at Krasnodar and Lille before an impressive 2-0 victory at Wolfsburg, while Young Boys won all three of their home outings, scoring nine goals without conceding.

Martinez's side will have to be wary of Young Boys' Guillaume Hoarau, who scored five times in his six appearances in the group.

The Frenchman has also netted six in 13 in the league, where Young Boys lie second, eight points adrift of Basel.

They will be without midfielder Matias Vitkieviez (knee), while Everton have fitness concerns over a number of players.

Martinez has doubts over the likes of Leighton Baines, Steven Pienaar and Aiden McGeady (all knee) and Tony Hibbert (knock), while the trip comes too soon for midfielder Leon Osman (ankle).