Aston Villa face Everton on Tuesday looking for just their fourth Premier League win of a torrid season. Remi Garde’s side look destined for relegation, whereas opponents Everton are challenging for a top-10 finish.
Villa fans endured a 6-0 thrashing by Liverpool on Valentine’s Day in their last home match and will be hoping the Reds’ Merseyside rivals have far fewer goalscoring opportunities. After selling Christian Benteke the Villans have scored the fewest in England’s top flight. Striker Jordan Ayew returns from suspension aiming to add to his side’s paltry tally of 21 Premier League goals.
Contrastingly, Everton (46) have found the net more than any club outside the top four. Romelu Lukaku has 16 of those and he scored twice in the reverse fixture on November 21. Ross Barkley also netted a double as Aston Villa were comprehensively beaten 4-0.
The Toffees responded positively to being eliminated from the League Cup semi-final by winning four out of their last five games. They kept clean sheets in all of these victories and should be well rested after a weekend without Premier League action. Aston Villa lost 2-1 at Stoke on Saturday and have been defeated four times in their last five fixtures.
Both clubs also have different prospects off the pitch. Everton and Aston Villa have been searching for new investment in recent years to boost their chances of success. Farhad Moshiri bought a 49.9% stake in Everton at the weekend which is expected to give them more funds to bolster their squad. With young talent in Barkley, Lukaku and John Stones an increase in financial power could keep the highly sought-after trio at Goodison Park.
Premier League clubs already attract the biggest worldwide names and the £5.14 billion TV rights deal (2016-19) will inevitably see transfer fees and salaries rise. Everton fans have every right to feel optimistic about the future, whereas a bleak future looks likely for Aston Villa.
Owner Randy Lerner has attempted to sell up without success. With relegation to the Championship looming there will probably be a short queue for the keys of Villa Park’s boardroom. Midlands rivals Leicester were bottom for a long period last season, but a resurgence at Aston Villa looks unimaginable.
Everton have a number of midfielders who should cause Aston Villa plenty of problems and I think they will bounce back from their home defeat to West Brom. In that Premier League match Everton wasted numerous opportunities and I can’t see them being as inaccurate at Villa Park.
Check out Betfect’s list of betting options for the game.
Aston Villa to win: 15/4
Images from the Daily Express & Daily Mail