Aston Villa’s tough start on their return to the Premier League continues as they host Everton at the Villa Park on Friday night.
The Villans returned to the English top-flight after a 3-year absence, winning the 2019 EFL Championship play-off final against Derby to clinch promotion. However, Dean Smith’s side have had a far from ideal start to the league campaign so far.
They lost a tough opening game to Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham after taking the lead early on. This was followed by a home defeat at the hands of Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, which was a difficult pill to swallow.Embed from Getty Images
However, the fixtures are showing no signs of easing up with Everton next up in the league. Aston Villa are currently 17th in the table and will look to pick their first points of the season before they get stuck in the relegation battle early on in the season.
Further, Dean Smith made a bunch of new signings as he tries to keep his side in the top-flight with the likes of Wesley, Tyrone Mings, Douglas Luiz, Matt Targett, Trezeguet and Tom Heaton coming on board among others.
On the other hand, Everton are looking to break the top-six hegemony this season, especially after a solid end to the previous one followed by a good summer. Marco Silva did lose Idrissa Gueye to PSG, Ademola Lookman to RB Leipzig and James McCarthy to Crystal Palace.
However, the Merseyside club managed to turn Andre Gomes loan move into a permanent one, while adding Alex Iwobi from Arsenal, Moise Kean from Juventus, Fabian Delph from Manchester City, Jean-Philippe Gbamin from Mainz and Djibril Sidibe from Monaco.
The Toffees drew their opening game of the season against Palace before picking up 3 points against Watford at Goodison Park. Now, they will be aiming for nothing less than another win when they travel to Villa Park for their 3rd league game of the season.
In terms of team news, Dean Smith will be without James Chester, who is suffering from a thigh injury, along with Jonathan Kodija and Kortney Hause, who are ruled out with ankle injuries.
On the other hand, Marco Silva will welcome the return of Leighton Baines into the squad while Lucas Digne is expected to be fit after limping out in the previous game. Further, Delph is a doubt for this game while Morgan Schneiderlin is suspended.
Head-To-Head and Aston Villa vs Everton Prediction
Coming to head-to-head, Everton have won 5 of their last 6 meetings with Aston Villa across all competitions and have scored 2+ goals in the last 8 match-ups between the sides.
While the Toffees have drawn their last 3 away PL games, they did manage to keep a clean sheet in 5 of their last 6 games in the league. Thus, both form and head-to-head are overwhelmingly in favor of the visitors and one can expect a goal-fest Villa Park in Friday with Marco Silva’s side picking up all 3 points.
Predicted Aston Villa XI: Heaton; Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett; Jota, McGinn, Luiz, Grealish, Trezeguet; Wesley
Predicted Everton XI: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne; Gbamin, Gomes; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Calvert-Lewin