Aston Villa v Everton

29 Feb

Jordan Ayew of Aston Villa and Everton's John Stones


Aston Villa forward Jordan Ayew and John Stones of Everton are available after suspension and injury respectively

TEAM NEWS

Aston Villa forward Jordan Ayew is available to face Everton after serving a three-match suspension.

Villa remain without the injured Jack Grealish, Carlos Sanchez, Libor Kozak, Adama Traore and Jordan Amavi.

Everton forward Arouna Kone is fit after illness, while John Stones could play for the first time in a month after overcoming a hamstring problem.

Muhamed Besic will not be involved but may return from injury against West Ham at the weekend.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

John Roder: “Both Aston Villa and Everton are approaching a new era – Villa fans are resigned to seeing their team play next season in the Championship, while Everton supporters will be keenly waiting for developments following new investment into the club.

“A group of Villa supporters are planning a walkout late in this match to protest at the way the club is being run. There was an unscheduled rehearsal in the 6-0 defeat by Liverpool at Villa’s last home fixture, when many were heading for the exit long before the final whistle.

“Everton have lost just once away from home in the Premier League this season. That statistic will surely be unchanged come the conclusion of this match.”

Twitter: @johnrodercomm

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde: “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 are 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. But the hope is still there for us.”

Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “We have 12 games left and we still want to achieve European qualification.

“With the chairman, our ambition was the Champions League positions and to become a winning team. The investment and involvement of (Farhad) Moshiri can take us to a different level and accelerate the process.

“It’s an exciting time.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Everton have not had a league game since they lost at home to West Brom on 13 February but this is the perfect fixture for them to bounce back from that.

Prediction: 0-2

Lawro’s full predictions v The Coral frontman James Skelly

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
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MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Villa’s only win in the 10 most recent meetings was a 3-2 home victory in May last season.
  • This will be the 220th competitive game between Aston Villa and Everton, and the 202nd in the top flight. Everton lead by 81 wins to Villa’s 80 in all competitions.

Aston Villa

  • They have the worst home record in the division, earning just 10 points from 13 games.
  • Villa suffered their joint-heaviest home defeat since 1935 by losing 6-0 to Liverpool in their most recent game at Villa Park. They have only won 19 of their past 83 league games at home since December 2011.
  • Aston Villa’s tally of 16 points is the joint-fourth lowest by a side after 27 games of a Premier League season.
  • Remi Garde’s side are the division’s lowest scorers with 21 goals, including just six in the first half of matches.
  • Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored seven Premier League goals against Everton, more than against any other opponent.

Everton

  • Roberto Martinez’s side have only won three of their past 13 league matches (W3, D6, L4).
  • They are on a seven-match unbeaten run in Premier League away fixtures – although five of those were draws.
  • Their only away defeat all season came at Arsenal in October.
  • Everton are the division’s fourth-highest scorers with 46 goals in 26 matches.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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