Hajduk Split v Everton preview: Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez sidelined
Last Updated: 25/08/17 12:06am
Everton will be without Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez for Thursday's Europa League play-off second leg away to Hajduk Split (kick-off 8pm BST).
Midfielder Klaassen has a foot injury while striker Ramirez has missed the last two matches after picking up a heel problem and neither have travelled to Croatia for the return leg.
The Toffees are in a good position to make the group stages after winning 2-0 in the first leg at Goodison Park, but Ronald Koeman says his side will not sit back against Hajduk Split.
"Should we go on the pitch with a defensive attitude to keep the result by defending? No. Our way to play is to control the game, to score goals," he told a pre-match press conference.
"We have a good advantage but still there is 90 minutes to go. It will be difficult. We have some injuries which makes it tough but we will fight and do our maximum to get into Europe.
"It's a tough week after City on Monday, then travelling today, but we need to be strong tomorrow to get into the group stage."
Everton face a Hajduk side going well in their domestic league, and Toffees skipper Phil Jagielka is ready for an "intense" encounter.
"I am sure there will be some atmosphere here - it will be a little bit nervy, a little bit edgy and maybe backs to the wall at times," he told www.evertonfc.com.
"We know it is going to be intense. It is all about the first goal, and if we can get that it will settle us.
"The tie is far from over, but it is nice to have a lead and a clean sheet, which will give us the confidence to keep it tight at the back."
Alongside Klaassen and Ramirez, Koeman confirmed James McCarthy's absence due to a knee complaint, with Ramiro Funes Mori, Yannick Bolasie (both knee), Seamus Coleman (leg) and Ross Barkley (hamstring) remaining sidelined.
Everton's record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson, meanwhile, could make a first start since arriving from Swansea, while former England captain Wayne Rooney is poised to feature for a first time since announcing his retirement from international football.
Hajduk Split have won eight of their last nine European home games (inc. qualifiers), including each of the last five.
Everton have won eight of their last 10 European games (inc. qualifiers), losing the other two matches.
The Toffees have lost only once in their last six away European contests (inc. qualifiers), winning three (D2).
Hajduk Split have lost five of their last six European games against English opposition (D1), failing to score in each defeat.
On home soil, Hajduk Split have won three of their last five European matches (inc. qualifiers) against English sides, although they lost the last two versus Fulham in 2002 and Stoke in 2011.
Wayne Rooney has scored 39 goals in European competition, although all of these were for Manchester United (a club record total).
Everton should have had this tie dead and buried. I think everybody is counting on progressing as a banker but it's not the comfortable scoreline they should have.
They need a big squad for the Europa League and I still think they need a few more players in, especially with Gareth Barry gone and Ross Barkley likely to follow.
I'm not convinced that this squad will really achieve much until they get a bit more depth and another forward in. They're relying on players like Michael Keane to chip in with goals to get them results.
I don't like going for 0-0s but, after playing Manchester City on Monday then with Chelsea on Sunday, I think they'll go there to just do a job, with Wayne Rooney rested.
Everton are Sky Bet's 5/4 favourites for the victory with Hajduk Split 11/5 outsiders on the night and up against odds of 10/1 to qualify. The Toffees are 16/1 in the Europa League outright, with Arsenal (7/1) and AC Milan (8/1) considered their main opposition. Wayne Rooney heads the first goalscorer betting at 9/2, closely followed by Sandro Ramirez (5/1), while Franck Ohandza is rated the hosts' main threat at 13/2 to net first.