Euro Date For Blues Duo
10/06/2012 by Daniel Alston
Nikica Jelavic and Darron Gibson could face each other tonight.
Two Everton players could go head-to-head tonight at Euro 2012 - but it won't be straight from the kick-off.
Whilst Nikica Jelavić is likely to start for Croatia following his impressive Everton form and injury to Ivica Olić, the same cannot be said for the Republic of Ireland's Darron Gibson.
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has unconventionally named his starting 11 more than 24 hours prior to Sunday's Group C clash - with former Manchester United man Gibson left out.
Opting for a settled side, Trapattoni's line-up is the same as the one that drew 0-0 against Hungary earlier this week.
Despite Gibson's impressive form since his January switch to Goodison Park, the 24-year old must now hope to make an appearance from the bench and prevent Blues colleague Jelavić from adding to his prolific goalscoring record this term.
Ahead of the game, the Croat said: "I hope I will continue my form at Euro 2012. I hope I will play for Croatia the same as I played for Everton, but what's most important is how the team plays.
"We're doing a good job here and I hope we will show that on the pitch against Ireland.
"I don't feel any pressure. It's a challenge for me; I am ready and I will do my best. I know forwards are expected to get goals, but in our case it isn't really important who's going to score – just that we play well and win.
"That first match is the crucial one and we will do anything to beat Ireland and have less pressure ahead of the other matches in our group."
Republic of Ireland v Croatia kicks off at 7.45pm BST and can be viewed live on ITV1. Follow @Everton on Twitter for updates and stay tuned to evertonfc.com for updates throughout the tournament.