Oct 23, 2014 at 6pm UK at ​Stade Lille-Metropole

Beria (57')

Besic (15'), Pienaar (57')

Roberto Martinez: 'Europa League can improve Ross Barkley'

Ross Barkley of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Everton at Carrow Road on August 17, 2013
© Getty Images
Roberto Martinez is certain that Ross Barkley will benefit from playing in the Europa League with Everton this season.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has claimed that the Europa League can improve certain aspects of Ross Barkley's game ahead of his debut in a European club competition.

Barkley, who returned from a knee injury in the 3-0 victory over Aston Villa on the weekend, is expected to start against Lille on Thursday evening, and Martinez is certain that the 20-year-old will gain valuable experience from the unique challenge posed by foreign sides.

"I think the bigger the challenge for Ross, the bigger the response," the Spaniard told reporters. "It is such a joy to see his big smile getting on the plane.

"He has missed two important Europa League games and I know he has found it difficult. To see him back on Saturday was a real positive for us.

"I think one of the benefits of getting into the Europa League was for the young players to get that European experience. It is important for them to face different teams that require new tactical problems. Straight away it develops your understanding and awareness."

The Toffees are currently top of Group H on four points from two games.

Everton's Ross Barkley celebrates after scoring the opening goal against QPR during their FA Cup third round match on January 4, 2013
Read Next:
Martinez: Barkley "was born to play football"
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole