Wolfsburg - VfL Wolfsfburg are hoping to put the disappointment of Saturday's defeat in Schalke behind them when English side Everton FC visit the Volkswagen Arena for their UEFA Europa League Matchday 5 clash (kick-off 18:00 GMT / 19:00 CET).

bundesliga.com looks ahead to Thursday's intriguing encounter...

A guaranteed berth in the Round of 32 is on offer for the victors, although the defeated side would still be in second place and in a good position to reach the knockout stages. Everton are currently on eight points, one ahead of the Wolves, so would seal top spot in Group H with a win.

The Wolves look likely to be without a trio of first team regulars, with Ricardo Rodriguez (hamstring), Josuha Guilavogui (groin) and Vieirinha (back) all carrying knocks sustained at the weekend. Marcel Schäfer, and (pictured) could step in to replace them.

The visitors have a long injury list to contend with as well, with Steven Naismith, Leighton Baines (pictured), Gareth Barry, Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo all failing to make the trip to Lower Saxony on Wednesday morning due to a variety of injuries.

With three goals and two assists in 356 minutes of Europa League action, is Wolfsburg's attacking fulcrum. If anyone can find a way through a well-drilled, compact Everton defence it will be the Belgian playmaker, who has made an incredible nine assists in the Bundesliga this term.

He may only be 20 years old but Ross Barkley is already a full England international and one of the first names on Everton manager Roberto Martinez's team sheet. The dynamic midfielder has a superb range of passing, a fearsome shot and is blessed with stamina to keep going at full throttle throughout the 90 minutes.

Always Trust in yourself

Ett foto publicerat av Nicklas Bendtner (@bendtner3) Nov 11, 2014 at 3:53 PST


Dieter Hecking (l.), Wolfsburg coach: "We've got a score to settle but we need to play intelligently and with clear heads, not with anger."

Roberto Martinez, Everton coach: "We have massive respect for Wolfsburg. We know they are in good form, but [my] squad is ready for the challenge."

Saturday's defeat in Schalke notwithstanding, confidence is high in the Wolves' camp. Prior to Matchday 12 they had won six consecutive Bundesliga games and taken seven points from three Europa League outings. Everton are undefeated in continental competition this season and are currently on a five-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, where they are ninth in the standings.

The only time these sides have ever met previously was back on Matchday 1 in September, when Wolfsburg endured a painful return to the European stage in a 4-1 defeat at Goodison Park.

Possible line-ups:

Wolfsburg: Benaglio - Träsch, Naldo, Knoche, Schäfer - Malanda, Gustavo - Hunt, De Bruyne, Perisic - Olic

Everton: Howard - Hilbert, Distin, Jagielka, Coleman - Osman, McCarthy - Atsu, Besic, Barkley - Lukaku