Lyon v Everton
6pm kick-off (UK time), 7pm kick-off (local time)
Teenage defender Morgan Feeney is set to feature in an Everton matchday squad for the first time on Thursday after travelling with the team for the Europa League meeting with Lyon.
However, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines and Wayne Rooney will not be involved in France, with David Unsworth opting to rest the players ahead of Sunday’s Premier League visit of Watford.
Feeney, 18, was a Premier League 2 winner with Everton's Under-23s last season and has been a regular for the young Blues once again this campaign.
And Unsworth says the Bootle-born youngster deserves his elevation.
“Morgan’s in the squad, and in the squad on merit,” the former defender told the media inside Lyon’s Groupama Stadium on Wednesday.
“He’s been outstanding last season and this for the Under-23s and we’re a bit short in the defensive area. He’ll certainly be involved [in the matchday squad], but probably from the bench.”
Michael Keane, who sat out Sunday’s defeat at Leicester City with an infection, will also miss the Group E clash, while Seamus Coleman (leg), Ramiro Funes Mori, Yannick Bolasie (both knee) and Ross Barkley (hamstring) are all long-term absentees.
Asked about the omission of Jagielka, Baines and Rooney from the travelling party, Unsworth added: “We just wanted to freshen it up with one eye on Sunday as well. Those lads have played a lot in a short space of time.
“We’ve done that and it’s a great opportunity for others to come in and show me what they’re all about and give me something to think about for Sunday."
Lyon head into Thursday’s encounter in scintillating form after four wins on the bounce, including a vital 3-2 victory over Monaco last month.
Bruno Génésio’s side currently sit third in the Ligue 1 table, three points behind second-placed Monaco and seven points short of current pacesetters PSG after 11 rounds of fixtures.
In contrast, the Toffees will be hoping for a fresh start after a winless October.
LAST TIME WE MET: Everton 1-2 Lyon
Bertrand Traore’s late goal earned Lyon a 2-1 victory in a hotly-contested clash between the two sides at Goodison Park a fortnight ago.
The French outfit took an early lead when captain Nabil Fekir converted a penalty following a foul inside the area be Mason Holgate.
But Everton improved in the second half and grabbed a deserved equaliser when Ashley Williams powered home a header at the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street end.
Gylfi Sigurdsson then struck the post with a free-kick with the scores level, before Traore pounced in the closing stages, his clever flick leaving the Toffees bottom of Group E.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Orel Grinfeld
Israeli referee Grinfeld will be the whistleblower at the Groupama Stadium.
This will be the first occasion he has officiated a match involving Everton or Lyon in his career.
Grinfeld has been in charge of four games in the Europa League this season and has issued 14 yellow cards but no reds in those encounters.
He has been on the FIFA list of international referees since 2012.
ONE TO WATCH: Bertrand Traore
Ex-Chelsea man Traore netted the winner when the two sides met at Goodison two weeks ago.
Quick, skilful and clinical in the box, the lively forward nonchalantly flicked home the decisive goal on Merseyside and constantly proved a threat on the counter-attack.
After an impressive loan spell with Ajax in 2016/17, when he helped the Dutch giants reach the final of the Europa League, Traore moved to Lyon from Chelsea in the summer for a fee of €10 million, plus potential add-ons in the future.
A full international from the age of 15, the now-22-year-old has represented Burkina Faso at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments to date.
As always, there will be free live audio commentary of Thursday’s contest here on evertonfc.com, with 1995 FA Cup winner Graham Stuart joining evertontv’s Darren Griffiths to describe the action.
In addition to our commentary, look out for evertonfc.com’s live blog, which will bring you updates, imagery, video and team news from the Groupama Stadium. Head to the match centre, the official App or the evertonfc.com homepage on matchday to find it.