Real Betis B v Everton Under-21
Alan Stubbs is expecting Real Betis B to pose the most technical challenge Everton Under-21s will encounter during their pre-season schedule.
The young Blues play their fourth and final warm-up match against the Spaniards in Jerez on Wednesday evening.
The Under-21s have already faced Nottingham Forest, Blackburn Rovers and Southport since returning from their summer break.
And Stubbs says their next opponents – who play in the Spanish fourth tier - will aim to implement a slick and energetic passing style, if they mirror the club’s senior side.
He told evertontv: “I went to watch their [Real Betis] first team against Huddersfield in England 10 days ago and if their first team is anything to go by they are a very technical side with a lot of passing and moving and a lot of interchanging of positions.
“They are very fluid and not rigid in their formation. They mixed the play up and switched the ball very quickly. They will play lots of short little passes, lots of one and two-touch play, and they counter-attack very quickly.
“I would have thought that their B team would be of a similar style so that’s what I’m expecting, but I’m not really worried about how they play, I’m more concerned with how we adapt to that.
“It’s another exercise and I’m looking for performances at this moment in time and then next week I will be looking for results.
“It won’t be easy, the heat will be a big factor, especially for our boys, but it will be a chance to get some really good fitness under our belts.”
Stubbs TrainingStubbs watches on as the Under-21s train in Jerez on Tuesday morning.
Everton Under-21s commence their league campaign away at Wolverhampton Wanderers next Monday (12 August).
Stubbs insists individual displays against Real Betis B could influence his team selection for that opening game against the Black Country outfit.
He continued: “We have brought 17 players out here. We’ve got a nucleus of the team which are predominantly 18, 19 and 20 years old. We’ve also got two first-year scholars and two second-year scholars.
“There is a little bit of youth in the team but if they do well and some of the older lads don’t do well over the next few weeks, they know I will have no doubts putting the younger lads in.
“We did it towards the end of last season and if they warrant their place, they will be in the team.”