Saha back for Blues' Benfica test

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The Everton striker Louis Saha returns from suspension for tonight's Europa League Group I tie with Benfica. The Frenchman missed the 2-1 victory at BATE Borisov earlier this month following his sending-off during the victory over AEK Athens in September.

Manager David Moyes will, however, be without defenders Lucas Neill and John Heitinga as both are ineligible, while Phil Jagielka and club captain Phil Neville, both currently sidelined through injury, have travelled to Lisbon to support the side as they look to continue their perfect start.

Moyes must also cope without Joseph Yobo, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar. Yobo suffered a head injury during Saturday's 1-1 draw with Wolves, Pienaar is recovering from a knee problem while Osman did not make the trip due to an ankle injury.

In Group C, Tony Mowbray's Celtic host Hamburg as they attempt to resurrect their European campaign. The Bhoys sit bottom of the group after taking just one point from their opening two matches. Mowbray is boosted by the return of defenders Glenn Loovens [suspension, calf injury] and Andreas Hinkel [thigh], who both missed Saturday's draw with Motherwell.

On-loan midfielder Landry N'Guemo says the Bhoys are aware of the enormity of tonight's visit of the Bundesliga side. "It's a very important match for us," he said. "We have to get three points to get off the bottom of the table."

Group C

Results so far: Hapoel Tel Aviv 2 Celtic 1, Rapid Vienna 3 Hamburg 0; Celtic 1 Rapid Vienna 1, Hamburg 4 Hapoel Tel Aviv 2.

Celtic remaining games: Tonight: Hamburg (h); 5 Nov: Hamburg (a); 2 Dec: Hapoel Tel-Aviv (h); 17 Dec: Rapid Vienna (a).

Group I

Results so far: Benfica 2 BATE Borisov 0, Everton 4 AEK Athens 0; AEK Athens 1 Benfica 0, BATE Borisov 1 Everton 2.

Everton remaining games: Tonight: Benfica (a); 5 Nov: Benfica (h); 2 Dec: AEK Athens (a); 17 Dec: BATE Borisov (h).