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Match Preview: Aston Villa vs Everton

Lucas Digne

Aston Villa vs Everton
Kick Off: 12:30 GMT
Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham

Aston Villa return to Villa Park for their first home game of the season as they welcome Everton.

Villa will be desperate to erase the memory of an abysmal opening day performance against newly promoted Bournemouth which saw the Villans slump to a 2-0 defeat.

The scoreline was bad enough but the performance was way short of the standards expected and the reaction of the fanbase throughout this week has echoed concerns around tactics, belief and attitude.

Steven Gerrard will demand not only an improvement, but a performance to go alongside a positive result as the indifferent form of last season cannot continue if Villa are to make a serious claim for a top ten position.

The tie is a fascinating one as it brings together Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard for the first time as opposing managers and also two historic clubs who would both be expecting to be doing a lot better than in recent years.

Frank Lampard managed to keep Everton up at the end of last season following his appointment which came in the same season as losing his role as Chelsea manager.

Perhaps seen as similar to Villa, the Toffees have spent big on some players in recent years but have not found the right formula to get them to work as a team and it is an all too familiar story at Villa Park.

Remarkably, many pundits and former players are already questioning whether Gerrard is in a spot of bother but it would be a surprise to see any changes coming soon with the backing of the owners and Christian Purslow and the way in which he was lauded as the exciting alternative to move the club on from the groundwork of Dean Smith.

Everton finished 16th last season, just four points above the relegation zone and six points behind Aston Villa.

Villa enjoyed a rare double last season, beating Everton 3-0 at Villa Park courtesy of Matty Cash, an own goal and Leon Bailey’s fine strike. The Villans won the reverse fixture 1-0 at Goodison Park thanks to a header on the stroke of half time from Emi Buendia.

Aston Villa Team News
A huge call will be made in regards to the back line following the recent news surrounding Tyrone Mings.

Firstly, stripped of the captaincy, Mings was dropped to the bench last week and then post match comments from Gerrard raised eyebrows amongst the Villa faithful and it has even led to stories about a possible exit with West Ham one of the teams linked.

Kaine Kesler-Hayden has joined Huddersfield Town on loan and both Bertrand Traore and Frederic Guilbert appear to be staying with the under-23 squad unless they can be moved on to pastures new.

Villa are likely to name a relatively unchanged squad but the starting eleven will be fascinating to see as last week seemed like there was no clear plan or alternative strategy than to loft balls into the box and try to get Danny Ings to do it all on his own against a resolute defence that ultimately were not tested enough.

Ollie Watkins, Emi Buendia and Douglas Luiz could all come in and it is unclear whether Morgan Sanson will be in any way involved following his cryptic Instagram post regarding his full fitness ahead of not making the matchday squad.

Possible starting line up:
Martinez, Digne, Carlos, Chambers, Cash, Kamara, McGinn, Luiz, Coutinho, Bailey, Watkins

Everton Team News
Frank Lampard will be boosted by the arrivals of Conor Coady and Amadou Onana who are both in line to make their debuts.

Yerry Mina (ankle) misses out through injury, as does Ben Godfrey (broken leg) following his horrific injury last week in the home defeat to Chelsea.

Solomon Rondon could come back into the team after completing his three-match ban.

Possible starting line up:
Pickford, Coleman, Tarkowski, Holgate, Coady, Mykolenko, Doucoure, Iwobi, Gordon, Rondon, McNeil

 

Match Facts:
i) This remains the most played fixture in top-flight history. This will be the 209th meeting and the record could not be much tighter with Villa winning 77 times to Everton’s 76 (league only).

ii) Everton have won four of their 27 away games at Villa Park in the Premier League with their last win coming in March 2016.

iii) Since promotion back to the Premier League, Villa are unbeaten against Everton with four wins and two draws.

iv) Villa have lost seven of their last 12 Premier League games and have won only two of their last 11 home games.


Head to Head
record:
Aston Villa 84 wins, 60 draws, Everton 82 wins

Last five meetings:

22 Jan 2022 – Everton 0-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
18 Sep 2021 – Aston Villa 3-0 Everton (Premier League)
13 May 2021 – Aston Villa 0-0 Everton (Premier League)
01 May 2021 – Everton 1-2 Aston Villa (Premier League)
16 Jul 2020 – Everton 1-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)

 

AVILLAFAN MATCH PREDICTION
I felt confident last week and I could not have been any more let down!

This could be an edgy game, an early goal will surely pile the pressure on either team and manager and the Villa fans need to stick with the players and hopefully we will see a positive result and subsequently feel a lot better about things.

Aston Villa 1-1 Everton

Match odds (Variable between bookmakers)
Aston Villa – 3/4
Draw 13/5
Everton – 15/4

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