Monday, May 17, 2021

Prediction: Everton vs Aston Villa

Prediction: Correct Score 2-2

Odds: 12/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

Two of the hopefuls for a European place come together on Saturday as Everton host Aston Villa at Goodison Park.

The two teams sit eighth and 11th respectively in the current Premier League table with seven points separating them ahead of the meeting on Merseyside. Whilst Carlo Ancelotti’s men hold the cards in relation to the race for UEFA Europa League football, a win for the visitors could certainly shake things up ahead of the final matches of the season.

Everton

Of the potential challengers for the European places, the Toffees are probably the best positioned of the lot. They sit just three points behind fifth-placed West Ham United with a game in hand, whilst should they win that match, they could be just three points off of the UEFA Champions League places. There is still plenty to play for for the Toffees then. With their victory at the Emirates Stadium last time out against Arsenal, they certainly breathed new life into their campaign with that being their first Premier League win in six matches. Despite that, Everton need to improve at home if they want to continue their challenge for Europe. The Toffees have won just one out of their last nine league games at Goodison Park, losing five of those. They only have two clean sheets in the league at home this season and having conceded 25 goals specifically on Merseyside, they have a defensive record that is worsened by only two teams in the Premier League – Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion.

Team News

The Toffees head into the match with a few damaging injury issues. Defender Michael Keane is ruled out having suffered a hamstring strain. Mason Holgate is likely to continue in his absence. Meanwhile, midfielders Abdoulaye Doucoure and Jean-Philippe Gbamin remain on the sidelines.

Aston Villa

It goes without saying that Dean Smith’s men really need to win this game if they want to avoid their season fading out in the closing stages. Having been as high as fifth heading into 2021, the Villans have only won five league games since – including just one out of their last eight. They were even somewhat fortunate to snatch a point against relegation-bound West Bromwich Albion last time out with Keinan Davies scoring a late equaliser after a howler from Baggies defender Kyle Bartley. Their away form has also certainly turned for the worse. Winning five out of their opening six away league games of the season, they have won just two out of the last ten since – a huge reason behind their dramatic drop-off.  Like Everton, Villa’s problems recently have revolved around a huge inability to keep clean sheets. In those aforementioned eight games, they have only claimed one shutout – that coming in the 0-0 stalemate against Wolverhampton Wanderers back in early March.

Team News

Mercurial midfielder Jack Grealish is still not available to make his return. The Villa captain has missed the last ten league games with a shin injury. Meanwhile, Morgan Sanson and Trezeguet remain restricted to the treatment room. In somewhat better news however, defender Matty Cash can return to the starting line-up having served his suspension.

Key Facts To Consider

  • Everton have the marginally better head-to-head record between the two sides (W82, D59, L81)
  • Aston Villa have not won at Goodison Park in the Premier League since 2008
  • The last match between the two ended 1-1, Theo Walcott and Ezri Konsa getting the goals
  • Carlo Ancelotti has only ever lost once against Aston Villa as a manager, that defeat coming in 2009 when he was Chelsea boss
  • There has not been a 0-0 between the two teams in the league since 2002

Conclusion

It isn’t exactly an inspiring match in prospect at Goodison with a team who have struggled at home hosting a side who seemingly cannot win away at the current time. Despite that potentially leading to a cagey game, the two sides’ awful defensive records should see an entertaining clash with goals.

Prediction: Correct Score 2-2

Odds: 12/1

Bookmaker: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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