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Europa League: Roberto Martinez views Everton's double-header with Lille as a 'final'

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes their chances of progressing to the knockout stage of the Europa League hinge on the double-header against Lille.

Martinez's side arrive at the Stade Pierre Mauroy as Group H leadersafter following up a draw at FK Krasnodar with a superb 4-1 win over Wolfsburg.

Lille visit Goodison Park for the return fixture on November 6, and the Everton boss has described the French side as "a team we respect and admire".

"They have had a few injuries and probably they are seeing Thursday's game asthe most important of their campaign," he said.

"For us it is exactly the same, and it could be some sort of a little finalwithin the group stage due to the importance of these games.

"I was a big admirer of the way Lille played last season - in some of thegames they were really brave and really open.

"This season they have started well but are waiting to really click, and thatis our worry. We don't want them to click tomorrow.

"We need to be concentrating on what we want to do and make sure we performextremely well."

Around 5,500 Everton fans are expected to make the trip to France, and Martinez added: "It is an exciting game from our point of view. We have phenomenal away support and we have been looking forward to this fixture for a long, long time.

"We are really excited to perform well and make our fans really proud, becausewe know they are travelling in big numbers."

Martinez is also wary of teenage Belgium strikerDivock Origi, who impressed at the World Cup in the summer and was snapped up by Liverpool before being sent back to Lille on a season-long loan deal.

"Divock Origi is a well-known player already, including in England after his role in the World Cup with Belgium," Martinez said.

"We know that in years to come he is going to have a big say in the PremierLeague - he is a very talented young man."


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  • Europa League: Lille v Everton team news


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