Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Everton vs Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 12.30pm.
Everton caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson has promised changes for the visit of Aston Villa as he bids to turn around a run of one win in 13 matches which led to Rafael Benitez’s sacking.
The Scot, in his second temporary spell in charge, has a virtually fully-fit squad to choose from, with Fabian Delph the only short-term absentee.
Fellow midfielder Tom Davies is out until March after a knee operation.
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard expects Goodison Park to be a cauldron of noise when his side head to face Everton under interim manager Ferguson
Aston Villa have John McGinn available for their trip to Goodison Park after suspension.
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The midfielder sat out Saturday’s 2-2 comeback draw against Manchester United and Lucas Digne makes a swift return to Everton following his move to Villa this month.
Ezri Konsa is a doubt with a hip injury while Trezeguet is on international duty with Egypt and Leon Bailey (hamstring) and Marvelous Nakamba (knee) are out.
A look at some of the key statistics ahead of Matchweek 23 in the Premier League
How to follow
Follow Everton vs Aston Villa in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel from 5.15pm on Saturday.
Last time out…
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Norwich City’s win over Everton in the Premier League
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Aston Villa’s draw with Manchester United in the Premier League
It’s just written, isn’t it? That Duncan Ferguson gets Everton’s season rolling in the right direction at Goodison Park, which will be rocking with one of their own back in the dugout. And the identity of the opposition manager is only going to send noise and passion levels north of the expected average. Steven Gerrard must be cursing the timing of Rafa Benitez’s sacking, and this fixture now becomes a tougher test for his Villa side.
Ferguson has previous experience in this role, having taken charge of Everton after Marco Silva left and led his side to a memorable 3-1 victory over Chelsea in his first game . Everton played with greater intensity, got the ball forward quicker, made more tackles and got the crowd involved at key points of the game.
In a table since October 2, Everton would be bottom, and with a record of one win from their last 13 Premier League games you can understand why Villa are favourites for victory at 8/5 with Sky Bet. However, I do think this will be a rejuvenated Everton so that recent record perhaps isn’t as relevant as what the market suggests. At 17/10 a home win looks the play.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-1
BETTING ANGLE: Everton to win (17/10 with Sky Bet)
Everton lost this exact fixture 2-1 in May last season – they’ve not lost back-to-back home league games against Aston Villa since March 1998.
Following their 3-0 win at Villa Park in September, Aston Villa are looking to secure their first league double over Everton since 2000-01.
Everton were joint-fifth in the clean sheet rankings in the Premier League last season, recording 12 shutouts overall. This season, only Newcastle and Watford have kept fewer clean sheets than the Toffees (3).
Everton have taken just five points in their last 12 Premier League matches (W1 D2 L9), the fewest they’ve won across a 12-game span since earning four points over 12 games between August and October 1994.
Aston Villa have conceded seven goals in their last three Premier League games (D1 L2), more than they had in their previous seven in the competition (6).
Everton have scored fewer first-half goals than any other Premier League side this season (5). The Toffees have failed to score before half-time in their last five games in the competition, last having a longer such run between December 2017 and January 2018 (6).
Everton have conceded the first goal in their last eight Premier League matches (W1 D1 L6), their longest run in Premier League history. Their previous longest was a seven game run between April and August 1997.
As a player, Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard was on the winning side against Everton more often than he was against any other opponent in the Premier League (16) and lost just four of his 30 games against the Toffees. Only against Villa (12) did Gerrard score more Premier League goals than he did against Everton (9).
Jacob Ramsey had a hand in both of Aston Villa’s goals against Manchester United last time out, scoring one and assisting Philippe Coutinho’s equaliser. Ramsey had only been involved in two goals in his previous 39 Premier League appearances for the Villans (2 goals).
Philippe Coutinho scored in his first Premier League appearance for Aston Villa against Man Utd last time out, with only four players scoring in their first two games for the Villans in the competition: Dalian Atkinson (1992), Dion Dublin (1998), Ross Barkley (2020) and Danny Ings (2021).
Premier League Preview: Conte’s Spurs to crack Chelsea code? Man Utd momentum? Watford-Norwich six-pointer
The Essential Football Podcast returns as host Alice Piper is joined by Charlotte Marsh and Ben Grounds to preview another captivating round of Premier League games which could have ramifications at both ends of the table.
PART ONE | After their dramatic, late victory at Leicester, the panel assess whether Antonio Conte’s Tottenham can crack the Stamford Bridge code and haul Chelsea back into the wide open race for the top four
PART TWO | Cristiano Ronaldo’s tantrum stole the headlines but having bounced back at Brentford have Ralf Rangnick and Man Utd built enough momentum to capitalise on the West Ham fragilities exposed by Leeds and boost their top-four chances? Plus: with an 11-point lead at the summit, can champions Man City afford to take their foot of the gas at Southampton?
PART THREE | An archetypal relegation six-pointer kicks off the Premier League weekend as Watford host Norwich on Friday – but which club is best placed to seize the initiative? Plus: tasked with steadying the ship for the second time in three years, can Duncan Ferguson galvanise Everton ahead of the visit of Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa?