Everton latest: Martinez looks forward to Lille clash, former loanee scouted?

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Everton face another Europa League clash on Thursday night, with French side Lille arriving at Goodison Park for a crucial clash.

The two sides met recently and played out a 0-0 draw, but Toffees boss Roberto Martinez is hopeful that his side will gain inspiration from the home crowd.

"We really enjoyed our last game at Goodison against Wolfsburg," said the Spaniard. "The two away games have been phenomenal experiences but the idea of playing at Goodison under the floodlights and facing French opposition for the first time in our history is really exciting."

Meanwhile, it's virtually assured that defender Antolin Alcaraz will miss the game with an injury as Everton try to decide what to do over the Paraguayan's dislocated shoulder.

The former Wigan defender looks set to have an operation on his injury, which could rule him out for between six to 12 weeks.

That's a huge blow for Everton, who had relied on Alcaraz in the absence of John Stones, but Sylvain Distin looks set to make his return to the first team against Lille.

Elsewhere, it's been reported in Portugal that Everton sent scouts to watch Benfica's 1-0 Champions League win over Monaco on Tuesday night.

It's unclear who the Toffees were watching at the Estadio da Luz, but former loanee Lacina Traore started the game for Monaco, and with concerns over Arouna Kone's fitness, they may try to tempt the Ligue 1 side into loaning out Traore once again.

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