After a 2-1 defeat to Stoke City at the weekend, Remi Garde’s Aston Villa charges appear to have all but resigned themselves to relegation and Championship football next season.
Not that Everton, or their Jason Derulo-loving manager Roberto Martinez, will care.
The Toffees are far too busy launching their own, near-annual, late-in-the-season lunge for a place among the Premier League’s European places.
At trip to Villa Park therefore offers the perfect opportunity for Everton to collect another three points with Aston Villa at least able to console themselves with the fact that they have already surpassed the worst points tally ever for a Premier League season – we’re looking at you Derby.
There’s still plenty for the avid football betting fans among us to watch out for though – here’s just five things you may want to keep in mind.
1. Lukaku loves Aston Villa
Among Everton’s star performers this season, Lukaku is just one goal off equalling his best ever return of 17 goals for a single season in the Premier League, set during his season-long loan with West Bromwich Albion.
The Belgian will be aiming to score for a third consecutive game on the road and will no doubt be relishing a trip to Villa Park. Lukaku has bagged five goals in his last four games against Aston Villa, including a brace when the teams met at Goodison Park earlier this term.
Another two-goal haul could therefore be on the cards against a Villa side that has shipped 10 in their last three games at home.
2. Everton on the road
After surrendering a leads on the road to both Chelsea in the Premier League and Manchester City in the League Cup, Everton have embarked on an impressive run of results away from Goodison Park.
The Toffees have won three away games on the bounce going into this encounter and have claimed four victories from their last five fixtures in all competitions.
They will be confident of scoring a goal or two at Villa Park too, having netted two or more in each of their last three trips to the Midlands.
3. Barkley is a banker
Keen to book his place on the plane to Euro 2016, Barkley has added goals to his game with Everton this term as Aston Villa fans know only too well.
The England international bagged two when the teams met at Goodison Park in the Premier League earlier this term and has scored in three of Everton’s last four games on the road.
Barkley bagged the opener in two of those three goalscoring appearances and, after breaking the deadlock when the sides met earlier this term, you wouldn’t bet against him doing the same here.
4. Toffees to keep it clean
When Paul Merson took Everton and England defender John Stones to task for a series of questionable defensive displays a couple of weeks back it did not go unnoticed by fans on social media – or Toffees manager Martinez for that matter.
In the weeks since, Everton have improved significantly defensively, with clean sheets in four of their last five competitive games.
Aston Villa represent the ideal opponents for Stones and Co. to carry on their good work too, with the Villans failing to score in four of their last six games.
Having gone three games without conceding a goal away from home, a fourth against a lacklustre Villa side looks likely in Birmingham.
5. The keys to the Jag
If there’s one man who enjoyed himself against Aston Villa last season it’s Phil Jagielka.
A key component of Everton’s recent defensive resurgence, Jagielka has happy memories of his encounters with Aston Villa last term, having netted home and away against the Claret and Blue in the Premier League.
He may be an outside bet for another goal against the Villans, but he might just be worth it.
Do you agree with our tips? Take a look at the latest odds for Aston Villa v Everton right here.
Images: Liverpool Echo