Everton and Aston Villa renew hostilities on Saturday afternoon as Goodison Park prepares for another must-win Premier League fixture.
Sean Dyche has brought a new dawn to a devastated blue part of Merseyside, guiding the Toffees out of the relegation zone for the first time since New Year’s Day after only three games in charge.
A somewhat expected 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the famous Merseyside derby a fortnight ago, sandwiched by a pair of 1-0 home wins over Arsenal and Leeds United, saw Everton climb to 16th in the table.
Dyche has not only developed the Toffees into a formidable defensive unit but turned his defenders into genuine attacking threats, with both Everton’s goals under his stewardship coming from unlikely sources.
James Tarkowski first took down pacesetters Arsenal before Seamus Coleman toppled Leeds last time out, putting his side on the cusp of three straight home league wins ‘to nil’ for the first time in almost four years.
Visiting Villa will be keen to stop Dyche in his tracks as they hope to halt a woeful three-game losing run in the Premier League, bookended by an embarrassing 4-2 home defeat to Arsenal last weekend.
Despite taking two separate leads in the first half, Unai Emery’s charges fell apart in the second-half stoppage time, conceding twice beyond the 90th minute.
Everton’s two triumphs from as many home league matches under Dyche are as many as they had in their previous ten top-flight outings at Goodison combined (D2, L6).
However, the Toffees have lost their last two Premier League home meetings with Villa by a single-goal margin and could suffer three consecutive H2H home defeats for the first time in their league history.
Conceding first would only strengthen such fears, with Everton going winless in nine out of 12 league games after falling behind this season (W1, D2, L9).
Not only have the Lions lost their last three Premier League fixtures, but they’ve conceded at least three goals on each occasion, suggesting Emery must address defensive woes to prevent a further downfall.
There’s hardly a better place to embark on that mission than Goodison, as his men are unbeaten in all seven league clashes against Everton since their Premier League return in 2019 (W5, D2).
On the upside, Villa had won three successive away league matches by an aggregate score of 5-1 before slumping to a 3-1 defeat at reigning champions Manchester City on their most recent travel.
Everton vs Aston Villa Potential Line-ups
Everton (4-3-2-1): Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, James Tarkowski, Conor Coady, Vitaliy Mykolenko; Abdoulaye Doucoure, Amadou Onana, Idrissa Gueye; Dwight McNeil, Alex Iwobi; Demarai Gray.
Aston Villa (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Lucas Digne, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, Matty Cash; Douglas Luiz, Boubacar Kamara, John McGinn; Emiliano Buendia, Philippe Coutinho, Ollie Watkins.
How to Watch?
Everton vs Aston Villa, alongside all other fixtures in England’s top flight, is available to watch online via live Premier League streams.
Everton vs Aston Villa Prediction
In other circumstances, Villa would be clear-cut favourites to take home three points, but the ‘Dyche factor’ has changed the atmosphere at Goodison.
Everton are no longer the pushovers they used to be during Frank Lampard’s dreadful tenure and we back them to maintain a 100% win ratio on home turf under the new manager.
Everton 1-0 Aston Villa
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