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Preview: Aston Villa vs. Everton - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Everton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Everton will be looking to claim their third successive away victory in the Premier League when they travel to Aston Villa on Thursday evening.

The Villains secured all three points against the Toffees just 12 days ago when they won 2-1 at Goodison Park, damaging Carlo Ancelotti's hopes of qualifying for Europe.

This will be the 206th top-flight meeting between the two clubs, extending its record as the most played fixture in English football league history.


Match preview

Aston Villa's Bertrand Traore celebrates scoring their first goal against Manchester United in the Premier League on May 9, 2021© Reuters

Aston Villa were unable to follow up their impressive victory at Goodison Park with another three points, as they were beaten 3-1 at home to Manchester United last weekend.

Bertrand Traore's emphatic finish midway through the first half helped the Villains take a narrow lead into the break, however second-half strikes from Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani ensured that the Red Devils came from behind to win once again, maintaining their unbeaten record away from home.

Ollie Watkins was shown a second yellow card late in the game for simulation, a decision manager Dean Smith was left "confused" by as he felt that VAR should have intervened to overturn the on-field referee's judgement.

Villa have recently seen their hopes of a European spot fade away but it has still been a successful campaign, considering they were fighting against relegation this time last year.

Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins in action with Everton's Mason Holgate© Reuters

Smith's side head into Thursday's encounter with Everton having lost five of their last six games against teams currently above them in the table, but having beaten the Toffees just 12 days ago, they will fancy their chances of securing another win and finishing the season in the top half of the Premier League.

In fact, a victory for Villa in midweek would be the second shortest gap between one side beating another in Premier League history, after Bolton Wanderers lost twice to Arsenal in the space of three days back in January 2010.

Villa – who have won more Premier League games (20) and scored more league goals (73) against Everton than they have against any other side in the division – are looking to complete the league double over the Toffees for the first time since the 2000-01 campaign, which would help them move above Leeds United into 10th place.

Meanwhile, Everton are sure to finish inside the top half this campaign, improving on their disappointing 12th-place finish last season, and although they had ambitions of sneaking into the top four, an inconsistent home record appears to have put an end to those dreams.

Their defeat against Villa at the beginning of this month was their eighth at Goodison Park this term, double the number they lost in the whole of last season.

Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates scoring their first goal with Richarlison on May 9, 2021© Reuters

In stark contrast, Everton's away form has been fantastic, winning 11 and drawing three of their 17 games on the road; only Manchester City and Manchester United have claimed more points on their travels this campaign.

Their most recent away success was a narrow 1-0 victory at fellow European hopefuls West Ham United, who currently boast the second-best home record in the division.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his 16th Premier League goal of the season to secure all three points for the Toffees, and the England international is now just five strikes behind compatriot Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot.

Everton travel to Villa Park on Thursday having won three of their last five away league matches against Aston Villa, however they did lose this fixture 2-0 last season.

Interestingly, manager Carlo Ancelotti has only won one of his six Premier League games against the Villains and against no other team does he have a lower win ratio (17%) in the division.

However, the Italian will not be fazed by such a statistic and he will be keen for his side to continue their impressive run of form away from home with a victory in midweek, to move them level on points with West Ham in fifth, one point clear of rivals Liverpool who play a few hours later against Man United.

Aston Villa Premier League form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Everton Premier League form:
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W


Team News

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti pictured on May 9, 2021© Reuters

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish – who has missed the last 12 matches with a shin injury – has been training this week and there is a chance that he could be handed some minutes off the bench on Thursday, to boost his match fitness.

Trezeguet and Morgan Sanson are both ruled out with knee injuries, while Watkins will serve a one-game suspension after his dismissal against Man United last weekend.

The absence of Watkins could see Brazilian striker Wesley start his first game for Villa since New Year's day 2020, after recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury.

He could be joined in attack by Traore and Anwar El Ghazi – who scored the winning goal at Goodison Park earlier this month – while Ross Barkley is set to play against his boyhood club in an advanced midfield role.

As for Everton, James Rodriguez remains out with a calf injury that he picked up in the warm-up against Villa earlier this month.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin (knee) and youngster Tyler Onyango (ankle) are also unavailable, but Abdoulaye Doucoure is back in contention to play after recovering from a fractured foot.

Ancelotti decided to use a 3-5-2 formation against the Hammers and the Italian may choose to stick with this setup on Thursday, as opposed to the 4-2-3-1 lineup that he started with in the reverse fixture.

Mason Holgate could be recalled to the side at the expense of Yerry Mina to play alongside Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey in the heart of the defence, while Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne are set to operate in wing-back roles.

Gylfi Sigurdsson is likely to keep his place in the side, providing much-needed creativity in Rodriguez's absence, while Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are set to lead the line once again.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Nakamba, McGinn; Traore, Barkley, El Ghazi; Wesley

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Holgate, Keane, Godfrey; Coleman, Gomes, Allan, Sigurdsson, Digne; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin


SM words green background

We say: Aston Villa 0-1 Everton

Aston Villa already know what it takes to defeat Everton, after beating them earlier this month, and they will fancy their chances of securing another victory on home soil.

However, the Toffees have been considerably stronger on the road this campaign and, with a win on Thursday evening needed if they are to secure a European spot, Ancelotti's men could prove tough to beat.

The hosts will also be without top scorer Ollie Watkins and so their threat in the final third may not be as testing for the visitors. With that in mind, we feel that Everton can continue their impressive away record with a narrow win at Villa Park.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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How you voted: Aston Villa vs Everton

Aston Villa
24.3%
Draw
17.3%
Everton
58.4%
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Everton's Richarlison celebrates an own goal by Arsenal's Bernd Leno in the Premier League on April 23, 2021
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