“The Hope is Still There” says Garde, as Martinez Prepares for “Unfortunate” Villa

Aston Villa v Everton Preview 2016

If the performance against Stoke was a response to Garde’s questions of commitment, then I’d hate to see Villa on a proper ‘off’ day.

With each passing game another nail in Villa’s Premier League coffin, there’s little to get excited about as Everton head to Brum – particularly given our previous woes against the Toffees.

Still, any team can beat any other in the Premier League. We’ll enjoy saying that while it lasts…

Lukaku has scored five goals in four league appearances against Villa

Garde on Everton

“It’s a tremendously important game for us in midweek.

“Picking up the three points would be vital for us.

“Saying that, we know that Everton is a very good side – a very dangerous team with many qualities up front to score goals.

“We will need the perfect game defensively and then we will need to be more threatening offensively.

“…Psychologically one point against Stoke – and on the table stats – would have been very efficient for us.

“But the hope is still there for us.

“I spoke to the players and the minimum is keeping the spirit and improving on the field to convert the chances we create – and having a clean sheet. Then we will have the three points.”

Martinez on Villa

“The way they [Aston Villa] start games, they are really strong and fully focused but the goals [they concede] probably have a bigger effect than it does on other teams.

“They have been unfortunate in many situations.”

Memory Match

02 May 2015 Villa 3 Everton 2.

A Benteke brace and an excellent goal from current Toffee Cleverley secured the points in this entertaining match.

Villa – Last five matches at home: W 2, D 2, L 1 

Everton – Last five matches away: W 2, D 3

Villa have won just one of the last five encounters at Villa Park.

One to Watch

Romelu Lukaku – The Belgian striker always seems to be scoring and tends to do well against Villa.

Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet

Villa and Everton – two historic clubs going in opposite directions.

Last season, Sherwood engineered the first win against Everton at Villa Park since 2010, but the mood has changed since the ex-Tottenham boss kept us up.

That occasion was the only win in the last 10 Premier League matches against Everton – and the stats don’t get much better than that.

Everton’s Lukaku has scored five goals in four league appearances against Villa and if the second goal Villa conceded at the weekend is anything to go by, he could be in for a field day.

Amazingly, Everton have only lost one away game this season, suffering defeat against Arsenal in October.

It’s a little surprising that Sky haven’t picked the game for TV considering there have been over 2.5 goals in 6 of Villa’s last 7 matches against Everton (in all competitions).

To make matters worse, Everton did not have a game this weekend and consequently will be well-rested ahead of this mid-week clash.

“They have been unfortunate in many situations” – Martinez on villa

What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide

It was an interesting weekend in the Premier League. There was nothing surprising about Villa’s Stoke loss, but Louis van Gaal’s exploits attracted a lot of attention.

Another two goals from their academy starlet Marcus Rashford had a tremendous effect at Old Trafford, and got the crowd on van Gaal’s side.

Garde may be sticking with the story that survival is possible, but why on earth isn’t he giving some of Villa’s youth a chance?

A mid-week game usually means squad rotation, but hopefully Garde opts for inexperience rather than some of Villa’s first team disappointments.

Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag

With recently announced new investment for the Toffees, the future looks bright, but at present they are an inconsistent side.

Despite plenty of excellent players, Everton are only 12th in the league and probably don’t have a whole lot to play for at this point in the season.

They will be hugely confident of a result at Villa Park on Tuesday night and will no doubt remember the 4-0 thrashing in Garde’s first away game at Goodison.

Time is running out for Villa, and if we are going to attempt an unlikely survival bid, we are at least helped by the return of Ayew, who will possibly be joined by the recovering Sanchez and Grealish.

It’s the most frequently played clash in English football, and it’s desperately sad that it will not be repeated next season (barring a miracle of gargantuan proportions).

Hopefully Villa can manage some sort of improvement over the last time a team from Merseyside headed to Villa Park. It wouldn’t need much!

Tuesday night will be the 220th competitive game between Villa and Everton – the 202nd in the top flight. Everton have won 81, while Villa have won 80.

There would be something fitting about a win to level the historic record, as we bid farewell to the Premier League.


Follow Lewis on Twitter – @rymondfootball

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