Scoring goals would be Yakubu's best atonement, says Moyes

He went awol in Africa but the Yak's back in Bergen. And as Everton prepared for their Uefa Cup last-32 match against SK Brann tonight, David Moyes said he expects payback from Ayegbeni Yakubu for his recent sins.

The Nigerian striker was three days late returning to his club last week from the African Nations Cup, and was dropped for Saturday's win against Reading. He provided no convincing explanation and now he will be expected to make amends as, it seems likely, he will start up front alone. "Yak's back in and it's done with now, that episode has ended," Moyes said. "Let's just hope he feels he has a point to prove because he let us down."

Moyes will be without Mikel Arteta, who has an ankle injury. When Everton flew out of Liverpool yesterday, so did Arteta – to Spain for treatment. "Mikel is a really big miss for us," Moyes said, but was bullish enough to add, "we have the squad to win the Uefa Cup and qualify for the Champions League."

Everton are fourth in the Premier League but this competition is their last hope of silverware. "If you actually want to achieve anything [in terms of trophies], these games are really important," Moyes said.

Brann qualified for this season's Uefa Cup by coming second behind Rosenborg in the 2006 Norwegian title race. They won the 2007 title, which on a line of form via Rosenborg in the Champions League makes them Chelsea's equals on a good day.

But they have not played a domestic fixture since their final game in early November. Moyes said that would not necessarily help his side. "We've seen as much of them as we can on DVD, and my chief scout has got a tan from going to their training camp in La Manga [this past fortnight]," he said. "They seem to have quite a British approach."

The most familiar face in the Brann ranks is Eirik Bakke – a former Champions League semi-finalist with Leeds – who was named yesterday as captain for 2008. "I needed a captain who can go to war on the field and that's what I have with Eirik," said Brann's coach, Mons Ivar Mjelde.

Moyes also identified Brann's prolific striker, Thorstein Helstad, as a danger, while their goalkeeper, Hakon Opdal, has been voted the best in his country for the past two seasons.

History and logic still suggest Everton should take control of a tie that will hand the winners a last-16 game against either Fiorentina or Rosenborg. They have won all their away games in the Uefa Cup and won their group-stage section with a 100 per cent record. Brann won just one game, against Dinamo Zagreb, and squeaked through in third place.

SK Brann: (4-4-2): Opdal; Dahl, Bjarnason, Sigurdsson, Hanstveit; Solli, El Fakiri, Bakke, Moen; Karadas, Helstad.

Everton (4-5-1 probable): Howard; Hibbert, Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott; Osman, Neville, Cahill, Carsley, Baines; Yakubu.

Referee: Anton Genov (Bulgaria).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there