Having lost disappointingly to Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League in 2015, Everton make a return to the same competition in the hope of going deep in the tournament once again.
Everton reached the Round of 16 in the 2014/15 season and having taken a 2-1 lead with them to Ukraine went on to lose the second leg 5-2 and were eliminated from the tournament. Ronald Koeman will be expecting this tie to be much easier.
The last time Ruzomberok qualified for European football was in 2006/7 and they were eliminated from the Champions League at the third qualifying stage. They moved into the first round of the UEFA Cup and were knocked out by Club Brugge. The Slovakian’s will be hoping for better luck this time.
This will be Everton’s first match of the 2016/17 season and they will want to get their campaign off to a positive start.
Their last match was on Saturday when they were held in a 1-1 draw by Genk in a friendly, Wayne Rooney scoring the goal for the Toffees. Everton enjoyed a great run of form at home towards the end of last season, winning 8 of their last 9 Premier League games.
In the Europa League Everton have won 5 of their last 6 games at home and will be aiming to build on a good record at Goodison Park. Everton scored 15 goals in those 5 victories, at an average of 3 goals per game.
The new Slovakian Super Liga started on the weekend and Ruzomberok went down 2-1 at Zlate Moravce.
However, having started the Europa League in the first qualifying round, Ruzomberok have picked up a couple of good victories. They saw off Vojvodina in the first round 3-2 on aggregate and Brann 2-1 on aggregate, turning around a 1-0 deficit from the home leg by winning 2-0 in Norway. Ruzomberok finished third in the Slovakian Super Liga last season and have won 4 of their last 11 competitive away games.
Everton have several players missing through injury for this game including Yannick Bolasie, Ramiro Funes Mori, James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman and Shani Tarashaj. Wayne Rooney is expected to start up-front in his first competitive match since returning to the club from Manchester United.
Ruzomberok will start the game in a 4-5-1 formation, leaving Nermin Haskic to lead the line on his own with support from midfield. They will pack the midfield and look for support in attacking areas from Peter Andrezly and Matej Kochan.
Top Betting Tips
Everton are huge favourites for this game and should take a lead with them for the second leg in Slovakia. Everton are 1/10 with Ladbrokes to win the game.
Everton scored plenty of goals at Goodison towards the end of last season and will be hoping to pick up where they left off. Koeman will be keen to put the tie out of sight before the second leg and you can get 4/7 with Ladbrokes for Everton to score over 2.5 goals.
With Everton coming in as such strong favourites it makes sense to look at the handicap markets and you can back Everton -2 at 10/11 with William Hill.