What started out as a day for the debutants turned into a North East nightmare for Aston Villa at St James' Park, where their tie with Newcastle was finely-poised thanks to strikes from Sandro Tonali and Moussa Diaby in a quickfire start to proceedings.
However, Villa were on level terms for all of five minutes as Alexander Isak propelled the Magpies back into the lead, and following a serious injury to Tyrone Mings, the floodgates opened, as Isak, Callum Wilson and Harvey Barnes contributed to a second-half mauling.
Villa's ineffective high line was exposed on multiple occasions by the goal-happy hosts, but Emery understandably pointed towards the severe issues to Mings and Emiliano Buendia, both of whom have joined a host of renowned European players to suffer season-threatening injuries over the summer months.
Thanks to their St James' Park embarrassment, Villa lie rock bottom of the Premier League table with 37 games remaining - not that the fledgling standings count for much at this stage - and they won each of their final seven home games in the 2022-23 campaign.
However, the Lions will soon enter the uncharted territory of having to work around a packed domestic and continental schedule, as Scottish Premiership side Hibernian await Emery's men later this month for the right to advance to the Europa Conference League group stage.
While Villa were torn to shreds in Newcastle, Everton could very well have put four or five goals of their own past a beleaguered Fulham side last weekend, and they did have the ball in the back of the net through Michael Keane before James Tarkowski was controversially penalised for a foul on Bernd Leno.
As was the case for the majority of the 2022-23 season, though, a lack of killer instinct proved to be Everton's downfall, as Leno thwarted the toothless Toffees attack time and time again, and substitute Bobby Decordova-Reid came up with the decisive contribution in the second half.
Dyche's side ended the encounter with 19 shots on the board compared to Fulham's nine - which was coincidentally the number of saves that the impenetrable Leno had to make - as the Toffees began their year with a 1-0 home defeat for the second season running.
However, the Everton boss was understandably pleased with the volume of chances his side created on the afternoon, and the Toffees closed the 2022-23 campaign with just one defeat from their final seven away matches, drawing three and winning one of their final four on the road.
On a more pessimistic note, Everton head to the West Midlands having gone eight games without a win against Aston Villa since the Lions' promotion back to the big time, and a fifth successive triumph over the Toffees would be the perfect medicine to last week's horror show for the hosts.
Villa captain Mings's new Premier League season lasted just over half an hour before he was taken off on a stretcher at St James' Park, and as is the case with the stricken Buendia, the England defender will spend several months recovering from that devastating knee issue.
Buendia and Mings represent two of nine injury concerns for a depleted Villa, who are also without the services of Jacob Ramsey (foot), Alex Moreno (thigh), Leander Dendoncker (muscle), Bertrand Traore (muscle) Timothy Iroegbunam and Jhon Duran for the weekend's encounter, although Moreno, Duran and Traore are further along in their recoveries.
Leon Bailey will also need assessing as he deals with a back problem - having come off at half time in Newcastle - while Pau Torres will expect to come in for his full Premier League debut in place of Mings, whose regular centre-back partner Ezri Konsa might also be fearing for his place after a dismal outing last weekend.
Meanwhile, Everton new boy Youssef Chermiti watched on from the stands last weekend following his arrival from Sporting Lisbon, but Dyche has hinted that the 19-year-old is not quite ready for the rigours of Premier League football.
However, Dominic Calvert-Lewin should be in contention to at least make the bench as he closes in on a return from his latest problem, while Arnaut Danjuma could be introduced into the misfiring attacking lineup against his former manager.
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Carlos, Torres, Digne; Kamara, Luiz; Diaby, Tielemans, McGinn; Watkins
Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Patterson, Tarkowski, Keane, Young; Iwobi, Onana, Doucoure, Gueye, Danjuma; Maupay
We say: Aston Villa 2-0 Everton
Everton may have had few problems carving out opportunities last weekend, but a cutting edge is still eluding Dyche's side, who could leave Villa Park with their tails tucked between their legs.
Emery's men could hardly have wished for a friendlier fixture in the wake of their opening-day drubbing, and even though the injuries are piling up for the hosts, we have faith in the Lions to get off the mark at the second time of asking.
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