David Unsworth hails 'fantastic' Europa League chance for youngsters

Everton Goodison 2

David Unsworth is relishing the prospect of seeing several Toffees youth players feature for Everton when FC Krasnodar visit Goodison Park this week.

Everton Under-21 coach David Unsworth believes that Thursday’s dead-rubber Europa League tie between the Toffees and FC Krasnodar will see several youngsters step up and impress for the Merseysiders.

With the Russian club already out of contention to progress and Everton assured of top spot in the group, Roberto Martinez could field a much-changed team in a game with little riding on it.

And former Goodison Park favourite and current coach Unsworth believes it’s a unique opportunity that several of the young players currently working under him at the club will seize with both hands.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Unsworth said: "I’m very relaxed about the prospect of them stepping up. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to publicise our Academy and it will be a fantastic opportunity for the lads themselves if they are called upon."

"... Opportunities to play at Goodison don’t come around as often as they did when I was a 16-year-old playing in the reserves," he added.

The news provider has tipped young stars like Chris Long, Ryan Ledson, Jonjoe Kenny, Conor McAleny and Tyias Browning to potentially feature for the Toffees later this week.

Several key first-team players, meanwhile, are likely to sit the game out, with Everton keen to avoid another European hangover when they face Queens Park Rangers at Goodison Park next Monday.

The Merseysiders may have topped a tough group containing Wolfsburg and Lille but they have so far dropped 11 points from a possible 15 in games played in the weekend following a European tie.

Fortunately in QPR they face a team with a poor record away from home in the Premier League.

The Rs have so far lost all seven of the games they have played in the top-flight away from Loftus Road and were hammered 4-0 on their last trip to Goodison Park in the FA Cup back in January of this year, having gone down 2-0 in their previous league visit to the ground.

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