Jonny Evans

Evans Eager To Start European Campaign Positively

Jonny Evans says excitement is high within Leicester City's ranks as they look forward to the beginning of their UEFA Europa League campaign.
More on this story...

- Leicester City take on Zorya Luhansk of Ukraine in the UEFA Europa League group stage
- Thursday evening's game will take place behind closed doors at Leicester City Stadium (8pm kick-off)
- The Foxes are targeting maximum points from their opening fixture, according to Jonny Evans
- The Northern Ireland international also spoke about his own fitness and says he is ready to play

First up, on Thursday evening, the Foxes face Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk at Leicester City Stadium (8pm kick-off) in the first European fixture to be staged in the city since 2017.

When speaking in the virtual pre-match press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Evans told the international media that preparations have been short and sharp for the visit of their Group G opponents.

"Well it's the first time we're all back together on the training pitch," the 32-year-old commented. "With it being a late kick-off on Sunday evening, there's an extra day of recovery needed.

"So we're all together and I think our focus has more shifted towards looking at the next game in a different competition.

First Team

Evans: We're In Every Tournament To Win

Leicester City defender Jonny Evans spoke to the media on Wednesday ahead of the visit of Zorya Luhansk in the UEFA Europa League.

"We're really looking forward to it, it's been a target of the Club for a while now to get into the European competitions.

"It's something that was highlighted at the start of last season as an objective. We managed to achieve that, so it's just a pity the fans can't be here to experience that with us.

"Because that's what we would like to bring to the Club and for everyone to share in that, but as players we'll go out and hopefully get off to a good start tomorrow and take it as far as we can as we're in every tournament to win it."

Having missed September's international break through injury, the Northern Ireland centre-back started three games for his country in October, being replaced at half-time in the 1-0 defeat to Norway.

Evans recovered to return to Leicester's starting line-up for the clash with Aston Villa on Sunday, playing 90 minutes for the second time in the Premier League this season.

We did a little bit of work today, watched a few videos on them with regards to a few individual players in their team and probably more around the style of play and their formation.

Jonny Evans

"I feel good physically, I think after my last international match I had a bit of concern for a few days with a stomach muscle problem," he revealed.

"It was touch and go whether I was able to play the other night but I managed to get through the game fine and I've had no knock-on effects from that and I'm ready to play again tomorrow."

Evans says Leicester have done their homework on the visitors, who have experience of playing at this level in previous seasons.

Pre-match focus has been around getting off to a positive start in the group, to help achieve the aim of progressing into the knockout stages.

The defender added: "We did a little bit of work today, watched a few videos on them with regards to a few individual players in their team and probably more around the style of play and their formation.

"They like to play a diamond we've seen in the past so that's something that we expect them to come with in the game, that's something we'll have to address and I'm sure we'll do that with our own tactics.

"It's very important, it's a home game for a start, we're stepping into a bit of the unknown in the sense that I know they have played a lot of times in the Europa League.

"So they've got a little bit more experience than us at that, but it's a game that we definitely want to come away from with the three points.

"We know it's going to be a tough group to get out of but we're confident and we'd especially love to get off to a good start."

All times BST.

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