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Premier League

  • 10 September 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Goodison Park, Liverpool
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 32736
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Everton - Aston Villa Preview: David Moyes' men looking for first win over Midlands outfit in over five years

David Moyes' side have failed to register a victory over the Villans since March 2006 and may struggle with a heavily depleted squad and an untested attacking line


PROBABLE LINEUPS

EVERTON

Howard
Neville, Distin, Jagielka, Baines
Heitinga, Osman
Bilyaletdinov, Cahill, Fellaini
Stracqualursi

ASTON VILLA

Given
Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Warnock
N’Zogbia, Delph, Petrov, Agbonlahor
Heskey, Bent

David Moyes will have selection issues from now until the season's half-way point with Victor Anichebe out until Christmas, giving the Scotsman just one fully fit striker in new boy Denis Stracqualursi.

Louis Saha should be fit enough for the bench, but the absence of Mikel Arteta’s dynamism in the middle may leave the Toffees fans wanting more out of Leon Osman. He has the ability to be a replacement of sorts for the Spaniard’s missing zest, but it remains to be seen whether the he can step up to the plate.

Meanwhile, Alex McLeish will have to wait till the last moment to see if Darren Bent is able to feature in the clash at Goodison Park after coming back from international duty carrying an injury.

However, Saturday’s match could well be the occasion for more debutant performances, with both Alan Hutton and Jermaine Jenas making their ways north of the capital to join the Villans, with the former being more likely to get a starting position due to Luke Young vacating the right-back spot as he went to Queens Park Rangers.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Since the inception of the Premier League, Everton have struggled to keep their goal difference each campaign in positive figures and their overall figure currently stands at -15. Aston Villa, though, have been a little more impressive with a figure of 68.
  • Both these clubs’ top goalscorers in the Premier League netted a total of 60 goals for their outfits, with Everton’s in the form of Duncan Ferguson and Villa’s being Dwight Yorke.
  • Before the well known colours of claret and blue graced the players of Aston Villa, the Villans would take to the pitch in sky blue and chocolate brown.
  • The Toffees have not beaten Saturday’s opponents in the Premier League since March 2006 – this run of 10 matches without a win is their longest against any current top-flight side.
  • David Moyes’ captain Phil Neville will make his 200th Premier League appearance for the Merseyside outfit should the Scot play this weekend.
  • Moyes and his opposite number Alex McLeish have met six times whilst in charge of a club, with both men having one win apiece, whilst the other four matches ended all square.

Players to watch

P. Neville

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
As a vital part of the Everton make-up, the former Manchester United man should very well be making his 200th top-flight appearance for the Toffees and will no doubt be leading his side out of the tunnel if he does.

The Toffees skipper is as sturdy as they come and it takes a lot for the 34-year-old to come undone at the back, but is just as likely to get himself forward.

Look for Neville to advance down that right-side throughout the match as Everton go on the offensive and try to create opportunities for his side.

G. Agbonlahor

Position: Attacker

Games: 34

  • 6
  • 7
  • 1
The striker has recently been deployed by manager Alex McLeish as more of a winger, coming in from the left-side and it is a move that has offered Aston Villa an essence of success.

With Charles N’Zogbia attacking from the right, this pairing on the flanks will have enough to intimidate most Premier League sides.

Everton will have to watch the 24-year-old closely during this clash, particularly more so as he has profited with a goal - against Blackburn Rovers - already this season following such a passage of play.

Editor's Prediction

With an untried strike-force and a depleted set of reserves, it will take a lot strength and determination to hold fort against what can be a dominant Aston Villa outfit. The Toffees will have enough problems to handle without Bent being fit enough to feature, but if the England international can contribute to the clash at Goodison then Moyes’ men will definitely have their hands full.

It will be up to the home midfield to stop such an attack as the Villans, but will also require an edge to create chances for themselves. They will likely look to Osman to get any such moves on the go as he tries to fill the void left by new Arsenal recruit Mikel Arteta.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Everton

Aston Villa

Wins
3
1
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Everton FC EVE
Everton FC Everton
Draw
Aston Villa FC AST
Aston Villa FC Aston Villa
26%
27%
47%

Top 3 Predictions

Everton FC EVE
1 - 2
Aston Villa FC AST
Everton FC EVE
2 - 1
Aston Villa FC AST
Everton FC EVE
1 - 1
Aston Villa FC AST

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