Preview and Prediction
The season debut for the promotion teams is always daunting. After Norwich is officially relegated, there are still two places left which five teams are trying to avoid. Aston Villa, the 1982 Champions League winner, sadly, is one of them. They are still stuck on the 19th of the table with only four point margin from the 17th position. There is no other way for Dean Smith’s men than to win all remaining three games, including the outing on Friday against Everton, plus hope that two of their contenders stumble along the way.
The teams’ previous match
The Toffees had another disappointing result while travelling to Molineux, Wolverhampton last weekend. They were hammered by the host 0-3. Raul Jimenez opened the score sheet through his penalty. At the second half, Ancelotti’s men failed to respond and even conceded two more by Leander Dendoncker’s header and Diogo Jota’s strike. It was their second defeat since the EPL resumed.
The Villans were finally able to end their ten winless run in Premier League by smashing Crystal Palace 2-0 on the weekend. The Egyptian winger Trezeguet scored a brace on the stoppage time at the first half and on 59th minute. That was one attempt Aston Villa did in the battle for survival on the top flight.
Carlo Ancellotti is likely to deploy 4-4-2 formation with Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin as the main frontmen. However, several key figures of the team are ruled out such as Cenk Tosun, Fabian Delph, Yerry Mina, Mason Holgate, Andrea Gomes and Jean-Phillipe Gbamin. The youngster Jarrad Braithwaite is likely to be given a chance in the line up to fill in the centre back to accompany Michael Keane whereas Morgan Schenderlin or Gylfi Sigurdsson will take over Andre Gomes in the midfield.
Dean Smith has always been in favour of 4-3-3 formation since their days in the Championship last season. He relies on Jack Grealish to create opportunities and also score goals accompanied by Trezeguet upfront. Unfortunately, there are a number of players on the sideline due to their injury, including their two key men in the squad, the goalie Tom Heaton and the Brazilian striker Wesley. For the goal keeper post, they still have Pepe Reina to cover Heaton but no convincing figures for the targetman, due to Anwar El Ghazi’s, Jonathan Kodjia’s and Mbwana Samatta’s unimpressive form so far.
Players to watch
Everton’s top performers under the former Napoli, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, PSG, Chelsea and AC Milan boss are still the Brazilian Richarlison with twelve goals and three assists and the local talent Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Another notable figure to watch is the England international Michael Keane.
Meanwhile, in Aston Villa, Jack Grealish is still the key man of the team. The 24-year-old captain has netted seven goals and provided six assists. Another name to watch in this fixture is the Irish defensive midfielder who made two assists in the previous game, Conor Hourihane.
Everton vs Aston Villa Prediction
The Villans’ objective is obvious, to win or fall to the pit of relegation. Thus, they are likely to strive to pick up three points. The home side, on the other hand, has no specific target as they are practically saved from the red zone threat but impossible to qualify for the continental competition. Ancelotti had better take this game as an opportunity to see their youngsters’ potential for the next season’s squad. In the end, Jack Grealish and Co might go home with one point on hand or a narrow win if the Toffees’ form is as bad as theirs in Molineux.
This clash is quite tricky as the host barely has anything to lose. They are still backed to win higher at 2.05, whereas Aston Villa’s odds are at 3.65. Meanwhile, the draw result is at the value of 3.45.