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Europa League success can reinvigorate Everton’s league form

| 25.02.2015

They may hold a 4-1 lead coming into their Europa League last-32 second leg against Young Boys, but Everton midfielder James McCarthy has vowed that the Toffees “will take no prisoners” against their Swiss counterparts.

It would be just as easy for the Merseyside club to ease off the gas and attempt to coast through to the next round, but record a similar scoreline from their trip to Bern and it could act as a catalyst for their Premier League campaign.

The atmosphere around Goodison Park has seemed tense in recent weeks as Roberto Martinez’s men have gone on a league run that has seen them pick up just a solitary win in 10 matches.

While a dull 1-0 or 2-0 loss would still see the club progress to the last-16, a real show could ensure the Gladys Street End really comes to life in the coming weeks and propels the side on to a decent run of form.

What’s more, sitting back against this Young Boys side could be dangerous, with the likes of Guillaume Hoarau potent threats in front of goal.

The Swiss side have netted 13 goals in their last three matches and are capable of doing plenty of damage if given the opportunity.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first shock after a tie was supposedly settled after the first leg.

Fulham pulled off a famous victory over Juventus in their second leg back in 2009/10 en route to a UEFA Cup final appearance.

But while the Cottagers were on the upper hand that time, English clubs do have a history of throwing away a decent advantage.

After Ipswich won 3-0 in their second round tie first leg in 1975/76, Club Brugge defender Georges Leekens said “It will be a miracle for us to score four times without Ipswich scoring”.

Maybe he knew something.

The Belgians did exactly that to put the Tractor Boys out.

More recently QPR threw away a 6-2 first leg win against FK Partizan to go out on away goals after losing 4-0 in Belgrade.

It may be unlikely that Everton suffer the same fate, but the reward for the right attitude and a good win goes far deeper than just a place in the next round.

All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.