Watch Live: Everton vs. Swansea City (Lineups and Discuss)

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Swansea look to put some distance between themselves and the relegation zone, but collecting three points at Goodison Park will be difficult, considering Everton have lost just once at home this season (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET online via Live Extra).

Falling out of Europa League was meant to help Swansea get back on track, easing their pressure in the Premier League. Yet the Swans are still just four point clear of the danger zone, having picked up only two points in their last four matches. Swansea looked to be in the driver’s seat last weekend when Roland Lamah scored within two minutes of kickoff, but fellow strugglers West Brom came back to steal a win with two goals in the second half.

Everton are seeking a chance to prove themselves in Europe next season, but need a third straight win to keep themselves solidly in the Europa League places. Currently the Toffees are sixth, three points above Manchester United but with a game in hand, and two points below Tottenham, who have a two-match advantage. Everton left it til late last weekend, frustrated by Cardiff closing ranks, but Seamus Coleman broke through in injury time to grab his side the win.

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Michu is still not fit enough to start, but that’s not stopping Gary Monk from making changes to the side that fell apart in the second half last weekend. Lamah drops to the bench, as do Jonathan De Guzmán and Jordi Amat. Nathan Dyer, Chico Flores and Pablo Hernández all start.

The hosts make two changes to last week’s winning side. Gerard Deulofeu and Leon Osman are on the bench, while Ross Barkley and Aiden McGeady start. Captain Tim Howard takes his place in goal while Romelu Lukaku spearheads the attack.

LINEUPS

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Baines, Stones, Distin, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas, McGeady, Barkley, Lukaku

Subs: Joel, Deulofeu, Naismith, Osman, Garbutt, Alcaraz, Browning

Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, Canas, Hernandez, Dyer, Routledge, Bony

Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Taylor, de Guzman, Shelvey, Michu, Lamah

Mendy a doubt for start of Man City’s Premier League season

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High-flying left back Benjamin Mendy‘s Manchester City takeoff has been delayed by a thigh injury.

Pep Guardiola revealed Thursday that Mendy is doubtful for City’s Aug. 12 Premier League opener at Brighton and Hove Albion despite passing a medical to push through a $68 million move from Monaco.

Saying Mendy is “a little bit injured,” Guardiola said to expect an absence of two to three weeks.

[ MORE: LAFC hires Bob Bradley ]

The depth chart behind Mendy is incomplete, though City has added two right backs this offseason in Kyle Walker and Danilo.

The latter would be the front-runner to start in Mendy’s place, as he did in a 3-5-2 as Man City beat Real Madrid 4-1 on Wednesday.

Man City follows its opener at Brighton with a visit from Everton and a trip to Bournemouth.

Roma gives new 4-year deal to Premier League target Nainggolan

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Hard-nosed midfielder Rajda Nainggolan has been linked to Manchester United and Chelsea for some time, but Thursday linked up long-term with his present club.

Nainggolan, 29, signed a new deal with AS Roma through the 2020-21 season, putting the Belgian box-to-box mid at the heart of i Lupi‘s plans to chase down Juventus.

[ MORE: Chatting with De Rossi ]

Nainggolan has been in the last two Serie A Best XIs.

The 29-times capped Belgian has six goals for his national team, and has 255 Serie A appearances between Cagliari and Roma. Nainggolan has 31 goals and 18 assists in those matches, scooping 62 yellows and two send-offs but never being handed straight red.

While it’s a perceived blow for his Premier League suitors, it’s a welcome retention for Roma. He’s arguably the reason Roma was ready to part with Michael Bradley in 2014, and you can see why: He plays right up to the line but knows right where it lies.

Too many fans: Udinese vs. Hannover friendly called off

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ST. VEIT, Austria (AP) Local authorities in southern Austria have called off Sunday’s friendly match between Udinese and Hannover as the estimated number of spectators exceeds the capacity of the stadium.

The city of St. Veit says about 4,000 fans, including 280 potential football hooligans, were expected for the game at the ground of local amateur club FC Alpe Adria, which has a capacity of 2,430.

St. Veit mayor Gerhard Mock says “it’s a shame … but security comes first.”

It’s not immediately clear whether the match between the Italian and German top-flight teams can be moved to a larger venue. Both Udinese and Hannover are having their preseason training camps in the province of Carinthia.

LIVE – Everton kick off Europa League campaign

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Wayne Rooney will play his first competitive game for Everton in 13 years.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores

That storyline will dominate Everton’s return to Europe as they kick off their 2017-18 UEFA Europa League campaign in front of a packed house at Goodison Park on Thursday.

The Toffees welcome Slovakian side MFK Ruzomberok for the first leg of the third qualifying round as they aim to make it back to the group stage for the first time since 2014-15.

Click on the link above to follow not only Everton’s game but all of the Europa League qualifiers going on across Europe this afternoon with the likes of AC Milan, Fenerbache, PSV, Marseille and Athletic Bilbao all in action.

If Ronald Koeman‘s side successfully navigate their way past Ruzomberok then they will be in the play-off round which is the final hurdle before the group stage.