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Premier League | Gameweek 21
Jan 14, 2024 at 2pm UK
Goodison Park

0 - 0
Aston Villa

Tarkowski (73')

Watkins (31'), Carlos (48'), Lenglet (73'), Tielemans (75')

Preview: Everton vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Everton vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Everton and Aston Villa, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Out to avoid a sixth game without a win in all competitions, basement-battling Everton host title-chasing Aston Villa in Sunday's Premier League affair at Goodison Park.

The Lions started the calendar year with a 1-0 beating of Middlesbrough in the third round of the FA Cup, whereas the Toffees were taken to a replay by Crystal Palace.

Match preview

With little goalmouth action to report on during Everton's 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in last Thursday's cup tie, the officials once again made headlines for the wrong reasons at Selhurst Park, as the Toffees saw out the final 15 minutes with 10 men owing to an inexplicable Dominic Calvert-Lewin red card.

While the striker's studs were showing as he challenged Nathaniel Clyne, he barely so much as grazed the Palace defender, but referee Chris Kavanagh saw fit to banish Calvert-Lewin from the field after a brief check of the monitor, much to Everton's disbelief.

However, Sean Dyche's side will head into the weekend feeling that justice has been done - Calvert-Lewin's red card and subsequent suspension has now been overturned on appeal - but another fixture in the calendar was not welcomed with open arms amid their winter plight.

The stalemate at Selhurst Park at least snapped a dismal four-game losing run for Everton, who were bested by all of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers in their final three fixtures of 2023, leaving them just one point above the relegation zone having played a game more than 18th-placed Luton Town.

Never before under the tutelage of Dyche have Everton suffered four successive Premier League defeats, but they have gone nine games without victory against teams starting the day in the top six of the Premier League table, losing each of their last seven such contests.

A scoreless cup tie also looked to be on the cards when Aston Villa made the trek to a ravaged Middlesbrough side, who went toe-to-toe with Unai Emery's side, only to be undone by a huge stroke of misfortune in the dying embers.

The Lions had huffed and puffed for 87 minutes without success, but with Middlesbrough on the verge of forcing a replay, a speculative Matty Cash strike sneaked into the bottom corner via a wicked deflection off of Emmanuel Latte Lath to send Villa through to round four, where Chelsea await in a couple of weeks' time.

The Villa Park faithful can certainly dream of Wembley supremacy with knockout specialist Emery in control of the reins, and this week's visitors to Goodison Park enter the weekend in the silver medal position in the Premier League table, just three points below leaders Liverpool and two above Manchester City having played a game more.

Due to the Reds' absence from top-flight duty this weekend, Aston Villa are mathematically capable of topping the standings this weekend, but given their vastly inferior goal difference, they would need to obliterate Everton by at least a nine-goal margin to usurp Jurgen Klopp's side.

With Villa's current record Premier League win being a 7-1 battering of Wimbledon in 1995, a new page of club folklore must be written if they are to shoot to the summit, and their five-game winning run against Everton came to an end in September's EFL Cup tie, where Dyche masterminded a 2-1 win in the West Midlands.

Everton Premier League form:

Everton form (all competitions):

Aston Villa Premier League form:

Aston Villa form (all competitions):

Team News

Ten minutes after Calvert-Lewin was controversially dismissed against Palace, his Toffees teammate Dwight McNeil was stretchered off the field with an ankle injury, although Dyche has revealed that the winger has avoided a serious injury and was "very lucky" to do so.

However, Dyche has conceded that McNeil is unlikely to make the cut this weekend, while Ashley Young (knock), Africa Cup of Nations-competing Idrissa Gueye and Dele Alli, who has suffered a setback in his recovery, are both missing from the ranks too.

One piece of positive fitness news arrived this week, though, as Abdoulaye Doucoure (thigh) had trained with the team and is pushing to be available for Sunday's game, while a rumoured exit for Arnaut Danjuma will seemingly not come to fruition if McNeil is ruled out for an extended period of time.

Likewise, Villa have also lost just one player to an AFCON call-up in the shape of Bertrand Traore, while long-term knee victims Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings also remain out of contention alongside Lucas Digne (thigh).

Backup goalkeeper Robin Olsen will likely take a bit longer to recover from his knock too, but Emery has confirmed that Pau Torres (ankle) and Youri Tielemans (calf) have both taken part in team training this week and are on course to be available.

After making a handful of anticipated changes against Middlesbrough, Emery will recall the likes of Douglas Luiz, Moussa Diaby and Ollie Watkins - who has either scored or assisted in his last three Premier League appearances against Everton - to the first XI on Sunday.

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko; Harrison, Doucoure, Onana, Garner, Danjuma; Calvert-Lewin

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Moreno; McGinn, Luiz, Kamara, Bailey; Diaby, Watkins

We say: Everton 1-2 Aston Villa

Each of Villa's last four Premier League away matches has seen Emery's side score twice, and while their offensive display against Boro was nothing to write home about, their well-rested big-hitters will have a glint in their eyes against an off-colour Everton unit.

The nine-goal victory Villa need to move into first place is surely only a pipe dream, but we still expect the Lions to right the wrongs of September's EFL Cup loss to the Toffees to make it six Premier League wins on the trot against Dyche's relegation strugglers.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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