Atalanta v Everton

Everton get their Europa League campaign underway with a tricky test away to Serie A side Atalanta on Thursday.

The Toffees made it through the play-off with wins over Slovakian side Ruzomberok and Croatian’s Hajduk Split earlier this year, having finished seventh in the Premier League last season.

Ronald Koeman’s side were pitted alongside Lyon, Apollon Limassol and Atalanta in Group E when the draw was made, and will now battle it out over the course of the next few months to reach the Knockout phase of the competition.

They come into this game in indifferent form though, having kicked off their season with a 1-0 victory over Stoke before holding Manchester City to a 1-1 draw. They then lost 2-0 to Chelsea and 3-0 to Tottenham Hotspur.

Atalanta, meanwhile, are managed by former Internazionale, Palermo and Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini, who guided his side to fourth place in Italy last season to secure their direct route to the Europa League.

La Dea have, however, found results hard to come by in the league, losing 1-0 to Roma, 3-1 to Napoli, ahead of defeating Sassuolo 2-1 last Sunday.

Speaking ahead of the match, Koeman said: “After last weekend, we need to react. In that second half we lost a lot of belief and confidence. I think we didn’t play with the right aggression.

“If you lose the game, if you are not happy with the performance, and you get an opportunity in the next few days, you like to show it. For that, I am really confident.”

He added: “Of course, we don’t have 11 players – we have much more players available, and for several reasons you can make some rotations.

“But, like always, we will start with a strong team.”