Aston Villa vs Everton 2015

Villa came tantalisingly close to taking a point (or three!) from the Etihad last weekend, and despite the loss, we continue to look like a team capable of giving anyone a game. This weekend, we have something of a landmark match. This will be the first fixture in (English) league history to have been played 200 times. Last weekend Everton also played a team from Manchester, and will be full of confidence having humbled van Gaal’s United side with a 3-0 victory. Will Villa put in another good performance, or will daft mistakes cost us again?

Villa are now averaging a goal per every six shots

Sherwood on Everton

“They are coming here on the back of some very good results.

“I thought they played very well against Man Utd, very cagey on the counter-attack. They broke with a lot of pace and can cause problems for a lot of teams. They have some exceptional individuals.

“But we are confident. We are playing well of late.

“If we continue the level of performance and get a bit of luck I think we will be okay.”

Sherwood on rival results

“The game against Everton this weekend is what is occupying our minds at the moment. It’s the only game that matters.

“I have no interest in other results – no interest whatsoever.

“It’s all in our own hands. If we do our job, we will be safe. We cannot rely on anyone else.

“Whatever we need, it’s in our hands. I am not looking elsewhere for any favours.”

Martinez on Villa

“Aston Villa’s scorelines haven’t been what they have deserved. I have been very impressed. This Aston Villa side, over the last six games, have been one of the best teams in terms of the way they have performed.

“They were very unfortunate in the last game [at Manchester City]. They deserved something out of that performance. And to get the three points against Spurs was an impressive result as well.

“I do feel what Aston Villa are doing at the moment is showing they know exactly how they want to play. I think they are not a team that are trying to scrap for points. They are full of confidence, full of belief and it is going to be a really tough game at the weekend.

“It’s clear that this team has found enjoyment in what they are doing and we will have to be at our best. If we are not at our best, we will find it hard to cope with their enthusiasm.”

Memory Match

25th Aug 2012 Aston Villa 1 Everton 3

A late goal from El Ahmadi couldn’t prevent a disappointing loss for Lambert during the first home game of his tenure.

Villa – Last five matches at home: W 1, D 1, L 3

Everton – Last five matches away: W 1, D 1, L 3

Villa have only won one of the last five league games against Everton at Villa Park

One to Watch

Leighton Baines – As well as being a key part of the defence that has kept 7 clean sheets in the last 13 league games, the England international is also a threat going forward.

 

 

Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet

Of 199 games against Everton, Villa have won 72 to Everton’s 74, and drawn 53 times. Heading into the 200th match in the fixture’s history however, there’s cause for concern – our recent record against the Toffees is poor.

In the reverse fixture early on this season, we gave a then-struggling Everton their first home win of the season, continuing Lambert’s bad record against them. Worryingly, this time around Everton’s form is much better. They’ve taken 16 points from their last six league games – as many as they did in the previous 19 games!

It’s at that stage at the season now when you hear the old cliche that teams are on “holiday”, but Everton’s run of form suggests they’re desperate to end the season on a high. Ever since they dropped out of the Europa League Everton have been resurgent, but Martinez’s men are 22 points worse off then at this point last season, so they will be eager to continue racking up the wins.

While we’re on the subject of points, Villa are currently six points off our lowest final Premier League total! (recorded in both 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons).

Home advantage might play a part, but it’s worth remembering that Villa have the worst home record in the league, with three wins, 15 points and 14 goals.

If Everton do win, they’ll have recorded four straight league wins against us for the first time in 40 years. The fact that this fixture is one of the most-played in England always gives each match a traditional, historic feel, but Villa will be hoping recent history is avoided – we’re winless in eight league encounters with the Toffees.

“Over the last six games, have been one of the best teams in terms of the way they have performed” – Martinez on Villa

What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide

As speculation suggested Given was going to be handed a start against Man City, Guzan’s howler three minutes into the match last weekend was a case of bad timing.

The American has been solid this season so it would perhaps be unfair to drop him, although Given’s form in the cup suggests he might be due a few league starts. Funnily enough, Given’s last league start was against Everton in Lambert’s first season.

If Guzan does feature hopefully he can match his usual performance levels. To be fair, he had a solid game after the Man City mistake, but when you’re in Villa’s position, such errors can have huge consequences.

Villa are now averaging a goal per every six shots (compared to one per 16 shots when Lambert was in charge) which shows the attacking transformation of the team.

Despite defensive improvement, Everton have dropped 19 points from winning positions –  a league high. With this in mind, Villa must not get too disheartened if we concede. It will be important to show the character that saw us draw level with City, though hopefully with a better final result.

Everton have taken 16 points from their last six league games – as many as they did in the previous 19 games

Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag

If Villa v Everton is a battle of the Belgian strikers, Villa have the advantage – if recent form is anything to go by. Lukaku has netted 18 goals during this campaign but has only scored once in nine matches.

Benteke has scored eight goals in his last seven league games and with him at his best there’s always a chance we can take three points.

Everton play attacking football and will not be looking to park the bus at Villa Park which should lead to plenty of chances for both teams.

While we’ve not enjoyed playing Everton in recent seasons, we all thought the same before playing Spurs at White Hart Lane.

If we can cut out the mistakes that led to our downfall against City but maintain that level of performance, we should have what it takes to get a much-needed home win.

Hopefully our 200th game against Everton is a particularly memorable one.

UTV.

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