Everton host Aston Villa at Goodison Park on 25 February, with both teams looking for three points to kickstart their season.
Everton’s dismal form this season has left them languishing just above the relegation zone, with their new manager Sean Dyche tasked with turning their fortunes around. Meanwhile, Aston Villa has shown improvement since the arrival of Unai Emery as their manager but have now suffered three straight defeats. While their season has been relatively average, they will be aiming to get three points on Saturday to finish the season strongly.
Here’s a quick recap of the season so far:
So far this season in the Premier League, Everton’s performance has been what can only be described as below par. They have only managed to secure five wins and six draws, and suffered 12 losses, including to fellow relegation rivals Wolves, leaving them 16th in the league table.
Their home form has been equally disappointing, with only four wins, two draws and six losses. Their away form has been slightly better but is still considered poor. They won only one match, drew four and lost six. In total, they have scored only 17 goals, not nearly enough to move them away from the relegation places.
Injury and loss of form of Dominic Calvert Lewin and a lack of alternative options have left them bereft of firepower. The sacking of Frank Lampard saw Sean Dyche take the reins and he immediately improved the mood with victory over league leaders Arsenal and Leeds, but a poor display against rivals Liverpool has brought Toffees fans back down to earth with a bump.
Average Aston Villa
Aston Villa’s overall performance this season can best be described as average. They have won eight matches, drawn four and lost 10, putting them in the 11th position in the league table, with a win rate of 36%. Their home form has been average, with five wins, two draws and five losses, while their away form has also been average, with three wins, two draws and six losses.
In total, they have scored 28 goals in the Premier League so far. Like Everton, a dip in form saw their own former England star manager Steven Gerrard removed from his post to be replaced by Europa League specialist Unai Emery. Since his appointment, things have improved, taking the Villains from relegation contenders to mid-table safety.
Everton, as you might expect, do not have a great recent record. Their last seven games have seen them defeated 3-1 by Manchester United, lose to Southampton 2-1 and West Ham United 2-0. They did manage to secure a 1-0 win against Arsenal and Leeds but suffered a 0-2 defeat to Liverpool in the derby.
Like Everton, Aston Villa’s recent form has been inconsistent. They drew 1-1 with Wolverhampton and suffered a humiliating home 2-1 defeat to Stevenage in the FA Cup.
However, they bounced back with a 2-1 win over Leeds and a 1-0 victory against Southampton. Their form has dipped, though – they lost 4-2 to Leicester before suffering a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City and then losing 4-2 at home to Arsenal.
Everton have played a total of 227 games against Aston Villa, with 82 wins and 60 draws. Aston Villa have won the other 85, so have a narrow advantage in the history books.
Everton vs Aston Villa is the most played top-flight fixture in England. Both teams were among the 12 founding members of the Football League, which was formed in 1888.
It’s hard to predict the outcome of the upcoming match between Everton and Aston Villa, as both teams’ form has been inconsistent this season. However, with Everton playing at home and under new manager Sean Dyche, they are likely to put up a strong defensive display and make it difficult for Aston Villa to break them down. Goodison Park is known for being a hostile atmosphere for visiting teams and this could work in Everton’s favour.
On the other hand, Aston Villa have made some smart moves in the transfer market under new manager Unai Emery and despite recent defeats, have a good squad to call upon. It’s likely to be a great game, with Aston Villa edging the match and securing a vital three points. However, with both teams needing a win to boost their position in the table, it’s sure to be a close contest.
With both teams needing a win to improve their season, the match promises to be a thrilling encounter between two historic clubs with a long-standing rivalry.