By Colin Udoh:

Everton’s preparations for Thursday night’s Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon were hit by a visa wrangle involving Joseph Yobo and Yakubu Aiyegbeni.

The two Nigerians were blocked from flying out with the Everton squad on Wednesday because officials were unhappy with their documents.

David Moyes and his players were forced to take off from Liverpool airport without them.

Everton have played down the incident and the two later flew out to Lisbon at night via Amsterdam on a flight with Toffees fans.

Moyes is desperate to have Yobo available because he is so short of central defenders, while Yakubu was expected to start on the bench.

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