Premier League: Everton vs Aston Villa match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at Goodison Park

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The Independent Online

After finishing fifth last season, Everton will be disappointed with their start to the current campaign, while away side Aston Villa complete their tour of the top sides and can be pleased with how they have started.

Roberto Martinez’s men haven’t won in their last three Premier Leagues and know if they don’t start to pick up points then they will soon get left behind by the top sides.

Record-signing Romelu Lukaku is yet to hit the heights of last season, scoring only two goals so far, but with Ross Barkley on the brink of returning and Steven Naismith in fine goal-scoring form for club and country, the Toffees can begin to look up and try to stop the current rot.

Aston Villa started the season strongly and despite a recent run of unfavourable games, the West Midlands side still sit in the top half of the table.

Christian Benteke has recently returned to the first team scene to give them a timely boost and they have fought off reported interest from Chelsea to tie down hot-prospect Jack Grealish to a new long-term contract.

They will be without key player Fabian Delph who has dislocated his shoulder, but Paul Lambert and Roy Keane will hope they can end the recent run of seven games without a win against the Merseysiders.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Everton 2 (Naismith, Mirallas) Aston Villa 1 (Bacuna), Premier League, Feb 14

Aston Villa 0 Everton 2 (Lukaku, Osman), Premier League, Oct 13

Everton 3 (Anichebe, Fellaini 2) Aston Villa (Benteke 2, Agbonlahor), Premier League, Feb 13

STATS…

Everton have lost only one of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Aston Villa (W3 D7)

Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored seven Premier League goals against Everton; more than versus any other side

Villa have lost three successive Premier League matches without scoring a single goal

Leighton Baines has assisted more goals (3) and created more goalscoring chances (16) than any other Premier League defender this season

Aston Villa have won 32% of matches with Ron Vlaar in the side since he joined on the eve of 2012-13 (20 of 62), compared to 14% of games without him (3/21)

ODDS…

Everton to win: 1.6

Aston Villa to win: 6.5

Draw: 4.2

TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pm.

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