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Aston Villa vs Everton

by | 01/05/2015  Comments (49)  jump

With 16 points from the last 18, punctuated by an emphatic 3-0 win over Manchester United at Goodison Park last Sunday, Everton's late-season recovery — and the hope it inspires for a better 2015-16 campaign — continues.

Top of the form table for the past six matches, the Blues travel to an Aston Villa side that has been rejuvenated somewhat by new manager Tim Sherwood but still remains in significant relegation danger coming into the weekend. The Villains sit just two points above 18th-placed Sunderland, who have a game in hand, and one point above Leicester City who have won four of their last five to give themselves a great chance of beating the drop themselves.

Perhaps in part due to the distraction of their FA Cup run, which has led them to a date in the Final with Arsenal later this month, the Midlanders have only won one of their last four at home and that, combined with Everton's excellent recent record at Villa Park, could mean they approach this meeting with the Blues with a good deal of trepidation.

Roberto Martinez's team have been playing with a renewed vigour in r recent weeks and were it not for a sloppy last half hour against Swansea three weeks ago, they might have won six on the bounce. A combination of the pressure having been lifted by their move away from the drop zone and a better mix of possession and direct passing has lifted the mood and improved results since the awful 2-0 defeat at Stoke in early March.

The Blues have also benefited from a consistent line-up in recent weeks and with eighth place still a possibility with four matches to go, the manager might not feel moved to make too many changes to the side that started against United.

If there are to be any changes, they're more likely to made in the attacking midfield / supporting attack role where Kevin Mirallas and Leon Osman have rotated in recent games and the likes of Steven Naismith, Arouna Kone and Aiden McGeady are waiting in the wings.

Romelu Lukaku is likely to continue up front after making his first start in a month last weekend Martinez's apparent desire to give Ross Barkley an extended run in the line-up to rebuild some of his confidence, it's probable that he will keep his place, too.

Everton are unbeaten in their last three games on Villa's soil and though Sherwood's defence remains porous at times, this promises to be a sterner test for the Blues than their last two visits where they won by a comfortable two-goal margin.

They demonstrated against Liverpool in the cup semi-final that they can cause problems when they're up for it, particularly if they can provide striker Christian Benteke with service, but Martinez will travel in confidence given his defence's excellent performances in recent weeks.

Kick off: 3pm
Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Full details: ToffeeWeb Match Reports

Reader Comments (49)

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Kieran Fitzgerald
1 Posted 01/05/2015 at 07:22:28
I havenÂ’t looked forward to a game this much since Leicester at the start of the season. I really hope we put a performance in and win. Keeping the momentum and confidence building going is exactly what the club, squad and fans need right now.

Also, I would really like to see Lukaku hit the twenty goal mark before the end of the season as well. For his development, confidence and being able to say we have a twenty goal a season striker, it would be excellent.

Andy Meighan
2 Posted 01/05/2015 at 08:39:59
Yes, the recent form has been excellent but only one of the 6 games has yielded an away win. That said, theyÂ’ll be fearing playing us because the shackles are off and they are still in trouble so thereÂ’s going to be an element of fear in their play. I just hope he employs the same tactics as the Man Utd game, ie, let them have plenty of the ball and try to catch them on the counter.

I'd love us to win this and put another nail in their coffin because I can't stand that arrogant fucker Sherwood. The media have made him out to be some kind of messiah when he clearly isnÂ’t. ItÂ’ll be tough but I think weÂ’ve got a great chance of winning this. Our confidence will be sky high after last Sunday. More of the same, please!

Colin Glassar
3 Posted 01/05/2015 at 09:36:19
Villa will be up for this but, despite SherwoodÂ’s injection of confidence and grit, they are still a poor team. IÂ’m not going to say we will win this but we wonÂ’t lose it either. Draw for me.
Max Wilson
4 Posted 01/05/2015 at 09:40:48
A tasty match coming up against our old midland rivals. ThereÂ’s a big Toffee contingent going. No Agbonlahor due to injury.

If we play the same team we did Sunday, we will be very hard to beat. Lukaku has yet to score since his injury and we can expect him to be showing more match practice sharpness. Lawro (shit shirts) says we will lose 2-1 (on the Beeb website). Let's bite his keyboards fingers off with a resounding victory. COYB!

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 01/05/2015 at 09:43:51
I think if this had been at Goodison, weÂ’d have won but, under the circumstances, away to Aston Villa, under the Sherwood factor, and also given they desperately need three points, then the game is much harder than it would have been usually.

I think a point at best, itÂ’s probably wishful thinking that we will reach the heights of last SundayÂ’s mauling of Man Utd, that was at Goodison of course and tomorrow the boot might be on the other foot. Villa Park will likely be rocking, itÂ’s their first home game since they got to the Cup Final.

I suppose itÂ’s another good test of our players' character, though, and it will be interesting to see how we turn up and play our football.

In general, we have struggled to win many away games this season so it would be nice to add one more to our rather meagre total so far of just four.

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 01/05/2015 at 10:09:13
It's been a major letdown that Lukaku only has eight league goals, I know itÂ’s hardly been all his fault, the service this season for him has been dire for the vast majority of the time.

It ought to give him some confidence though having the European goals and yes he is still on 18 in all competitions.

Still having said that, there wonÂ’t be any European matches next season so he needs to work hard at scoring more league goals.

I have my feelings we may get a narrow defeat tomorrow (sorry to agree with shit shirts Lawro) but I just think VillaÂ’s need might be greater on the day.

Eugene Ruane
7 Posted 01/05/2015 at 10:42:01
One of the most encouraging things (to me) about Lukaku is, like all strikers who finish their careers with a load of goals, heÂ’s genuinely greedy for a goal. I watched the replay of the Mirallas goal a few times and his first thought when Mirallas gets the ball is to plead Â’give it to me!Â’ When Mirallas slots (which he was more than entitled to do), LukakuÂ’s immediate (and natural) response was to spin away in frustration.

He might also be a better player next season as it appears heÂ’s learnt how to head a ball. (What happened there?)

Mike Childs
8 Posted 01/05/2015 at 10:37:48
I think we win 0-2. Sure Benteke has been on fire since Sherwood took over but we still have the more skilled players. Rom should be up for it to show up his Belgium rival. The players and manager I hope want to prove the first half performances were not what weÂ’re made of. My biggest worry is containing Delph and Cleverly trying to impress for a move to Goodison.
Erik Dols
9 Posted 01/05/2015 at 10:56:10
I more or less expect us to draw – most home matches against Villa the last years are matches that could go either way and I think we drew 4 of the last 5 home games against them?

I can also remember about 7 years ago we equalized in extra time, only to see Ashley Young score the winner. Anyways, we play away from home, that actually might benefit us as Villa will give away plenty of room at the back.

Ajay Gopal
10 Posted 01/05/2015 at 11:03:51
Aston Villa are desperate for points and this is 1 of only 3 home games remaining for them, so Tim Sherwood will be psyching his players up as a ’must win’ game. It will be a difficult game for our lads – and I honestly don’t see us winning this one. I will be happy with a draw.
Ross Edwards
11 Posted 01/05/2015 at 11:22:58
Hmm. Tim Sherwood. The novelty will wear off eventually. And that will hopefully be tommorrow. Although itÂ’s going to be a very tough game, what with Benteke in excellent form and Villa needing a win.

2-1 win hopefully.

Patrick Murphy
12 Posted 01/05/2015 at 12:03:32
Everton should really looking to win this game, no matter how desperate Villa are for points. There is no pressure on our lads and tons of pressure on theirs.

If we are looking for signs of a better season next time around, we have to go to places where teams have been struggling and look to win. ItÂ’s about time that Everton started behaving like a top-six team rather than an over-achieving mid-table side.

Gareth Fieldstead
13 Posted 01/05/2015 at 15:19:14
A little petty I know, but!!! I remember being sat in the Paddock against this lot in 98 when they dismantled us 4-1, Dwight Yorke running our defence ragged and the Villa fans singing to us "WeÂ’ll meet again!" Ever since, I have wanted to play them, beat them, and sing this to them! I would love it to be tomorrow.

IÂ’ve no idea what their run-in is after tomorrow but SunderlandÂ’s is absolutely awful so I think they will still be a Premier League side come the FA Cup Final, regardless of this result.

Dominic Tonge
14 Posted 01/05/2015 at 15:26:22
To be fair, I used to really dislike Villa. We got beaten by Villa, and my then girlfriend's mum, a Villa fan, cooked spaghetti benni carbonne for tea.... Ha ha fucking ha.

That was until we beat them 4-0; there was an announcement after about 25 minst hat Villa fans would have to wait till half-time to buy a programme... just afterwards, we went two-nil up and the Villa fans burst into a chorus of:
Shove yer programmes
Shove yer programmes
Shove yer programmes up yer arse.....
Shoooove yer programmes up your aaaaarrrrse

Five minutes later, it was 3-0 and one of the Villa fans lead a conga down to the concourse, all singing...
LetÂ’s all buy a programme....

Funny that. Since then, I donÂ’t mind villa. Plus they give Lescott dog's abuse.

Michael Polley
15 Posted 01/05/2015 at 15:35:31
It will be a hard game, but we have the better confidence, and momentum. Hopefully 3 points!!
Gerry Quinn
16 Posted 01/05/2015 at 17:39:01
ItÂ’s really nice to see articles like this about us...

Clarence Yurcan
17 Posted 01/05/2015 at 18:57:07
I feel bad for Villa; theyÂ’re too big a club to get relegated. They won a European Cup!
Phil Walling
18 Posted 01/05/2015 at 19:03:42
I said, weeks ago, when we were in the mire that IÂ’d settle for getting points however we got them. Well, we got them..... and I think we may get 3 more tomorrow !
Tony Hill
19 Posted 01/05/2015 at 19:19:34
In a way, it is a bit of a test tomorrow. It is perfectly set up for a clear Villa win and for us to be shite. ItÂ’s how we generally work, especially after weÂ’ve had a good win. It would be quite impressive and encouraging if we could show some steel and take the points.
Phil Walling
20 Posted 01/05/2015 at 19:26:57
Tony, whatever reservations I have about this manager heÂ’s managed to Â’get them upÂ’ for the last six games. WhatÂ’s so special about tomorrow?
Kunal Desai
21 Posted 01/05/2015 at 19:37:11
They conceded 3 on their last home game against QPR. I expect us to get at least a point here.
Tony Hill
22 Posted 01/05/2015 at 19:38:14
Phil, we always seem to cock it up when it looks - just possibly - that weÂ’re back on track and often after weÂ’ve had a particularly promising result.. They need to win, we donÂ’t. Cue a weedy performance from us and a 2-0, 3-0 defeat.

If we can resist the pressure from the Villa crowd and motivate ourselves then that is a sign that we may be developing the sort of mental hardness under Martinez that makes a repeat of this season less likely.

HereÂ’s hoping.

Ross Edwards
23 Posted 01/05/2015 at 20:09:09
I think weÂ’ll win Tony. I hope anyway. I canÂ’t see us losing personally.
Darren Hind
24 Posted 01/05/2015 at 20:05:37
I just don't get the people who say they can't wait for this season to end. TheyÂ’ll be dying of boredom come June.

Okay, we can't win anything, but the manager and the players only have four more opportunities to entertain us. Let's hope they take them

Mike Childs
25 Posted 01/05/2015 at 22:31:59
Thanks, Gerry, great nice article about the respect it seems that English teams have for one another outside the Sky 5. I still hope it’s Sunderland and QPR going down. Now instead of Hull, I believe of all this season’s BS Newcastle should join them. C'mon Burnley and Leicester – find the points.

Sunderland is the new Wigan as they have escaped it all 5 years I’ve been watching. QPR are from London and they can’t get it right with that advantage and Newcastle – Ashley, 'nuff said.

Denis Richardson
26 Posted 01/05/2015 at 23:55:52
I've never liked Villa since they tore us a new one 6-2 back in 89 (?). Tony Daley running riot that day, think we were actually 6-0 down and maneged to make it Â’respectableÂ’ scoring two at the end.

Anyway, I can only see a draw or loss tomorrow. They will be up for it knowing a win will be a massive boost to staying up. Pressure may be off for us but theyÂ’ll want it more and be at home.

Dave Abrahams
27 Posted 02/05/2015 at 00:10:47
Mike (25) when the spiv Redknapp was in charge of QPR, I wanted them to go down. Now they have a decent manager, Ramsey, I want them to stay up.
Gavin Johnson
28 Posted 02/05/2015 at 00:37:32
DidnÂ’t Beagrie score one of the 2 goals in our 6-2 mauling of Villa. IÂ’m pretty sure it was his first game for us too.
Gavin Johnson
29 Posted 02/05/2015 at 01:10:34
Mauling at Villa should I say. It was a bad day.
Mike Childs
30 Posted 02/05/2015 at 01:23:54
I donÂ’t deny what youÂ’re saying Dave A. but given the fact that so many players want to live in London can one less London team moving down not help us? I like the fact that they finally gave Ramsey the reigns but still they are in London and I have learnt that if Everton offers a player 㿞k a week and a London team offer the same wages, they go to London.

I live in Worcester, MA, and my three children prefer to live in Boston and pay rent rather than live with me in Worcester because of the night life in Boston. They all love me but I canÂ’t compete with the Boston scene.

Chris Gould
31 Posted 02/05/2015 at 07:35:28
It will be a tough game today. I hope Villa really attack us, it plays to our strengths. If we score first, I think we will win comfortably. The more they attack the more likely we will counter them.

Villa have a very real chance of doing a Wigan this season. FA Cup and relegation.

Denis Richardson
32 Posted 02/05/2015 at 08:36:46
WeÂ’re on a decent run but weÂ’ve only managed one win on the road on this run and that was against QPR.

I am not confident weÂ’ll win this as theyÂ’ll be fighting for every ball and we have not that much to play for and of course theyÂ’re at home. They were also very unlucky against Man City.

Draw or narrow defeat for me, then our players will start booking their summer hols.

Jim Bennings
33 Posted 02/05/2015 at 08:30:30
I can think of other clubs than Aston Villa that IÂ’d want to see relegated. I canÂ’t just dislike a club because they beat us; if thatÂ’s the case then IÂ’d loathe every club out there.

Villa are a traditional club with a quality stadium, one with character, and I personally always enjoy both the journey there and the time I spend at the stadium; they also donÂ’t just stick the away section in some far flung corner.

As I say, itÂ’s nice to see a club that still retains its soul and character. IÂ’m quite looking forward to seeing Bournemouth in the Premier League, itÂ’s a new team and, letÂ’s be honest, after the rollercoaster they have been on with Eddie Howe, they deserve it.

I hope one day to see a few of the other established clubs in the Premier League again, the likes of NottÂ’m Forest or Sheffield Wednesday.

Bill Griffiths
34 Posted 02/05/2015 at 09:56:27
My first thoughts on this game as exactly as per those of Tony Hill. WeÂ’re on a good run, off the back of a great performance and result: cue our normal capitulation when faced with a game like this.

However, if we do wish to progress and push through the glass ceiling, we need to start winning these games, hopefully starting today.

Dave Ganley
35 Posted 02/05/2015 at 11:39:14
Hope we win but most of all I would like to see a decent performance again, like vs Man Utd last week, as that was the first time we have looked interested for many a game. If we can show the same desire then we should have enough for Villa. For some reason, regardless of what kind of team Villa put out, it's always a tough game especially down there so attitude will be all important.

If we start putting together some decent performances as well as getting results, then it can be a springboard for continuity for next season. Just picking up lucky wins (Man Utd win was deserved) without the performance is not good enough and will be of no benefit going into the new season. We need to start playing well, if only to convince ourselves that we can, and put a bit of belief and confidence back into the players which has been seeping out of them all season.

Ross Edwards
36 Posted 02/05/2015 at 11:58:10
I hope we play like we did on Sunday rather than it just being a one-off.
Eric Holland
37 Posted 02/05/2015 at 12:13:15
This game is on a knife edge, I would like to think we can carry on with the mini revival but as has been said before when you expect a win it never materializes.

First goal is very important they will be on a high reaching the cup final, but if we score first and our usual great away following get behind us we should go on to win.

2-0 would do me.

Tim Greeley
38 Posted 02/05/2015 at 12:17:43
As everyone is all about that dumbass boxing match tonight, I'm hoping for a thrilla at Aston Villa! I have no interest in in boxing but I do love the Kentucky Derby. A lot going on today!

Mike C, I knew you were in Massachusetts but not in Worcester (Wuuusta). My dad played hoops at Holy Cross way back when, in the 1960s I guess. I actually went to basketball camp there a few years when I was a kid. Nice people up there! Those accents though....

Harold Matthews
39 Posted 02/05/2015 at 12:21:11
"The hand of Seamus" cost us the away win at Swansea. LetÂ’s hope the left foot of Lukaku does the business today,.
Eugene Ruane
40 Posted 02/05/2015 at 12:29:06
My guess is the longer it goes at 0-0, the better chance we have of taking all the points.

I think if we really concentrate on not letting them in (plenty of hard work behind the ball and quick breaks) nerves could eventually play a part.

I would love us to go into the game with the idea/plan of using our present position and Â’mind-setÂ’ (relaxed, confident, safe) to undermine theirs.

And what is theirs?

Well yes theyÂ’re in the cup final and their performances have definitely improved, but theyÂ’re only two points off Sunderland who have a game in hand (albeit Arsenal away).

Fact is, despite SherwoodÂ’s positivity, their reality will be nerves (probably not helped by a nervy home crowd).

We should recognise it and plan to exploit it.

Up the Toffees!

James Marshall
41 Posted 02/05/2015 at 13:27:36
We beat them 2-0 at Villa Park last season. I see no reason we canÂ’t do them again.

No predictions on score but we have plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

Phil Walling
42 Posted 02/05/2015 at 13:56:40
Just managed to find some 2/1 against an Everton win with Victor Chandler. Villa at 17/10. Think the bookies have it the wrong way round!
Al Reddish
43 Posted 02/05/2015 at 14:07:53
Denis, we did Crystal Palace away also.
Jon Cox
44 Posted 02/05/2015 at 14:04:52
"We beat them 2-0 at Villa Park last season. I see no reason we can't do them again."

So does that mean everything about todays game will be identical in every way?

What a strange statement!

Al Reddish
46 Posted 02/05/2015 at 14:30:46


#EFC team v #AVFC - Howard, Coleman, Baines, Stones, Jagielka, McCarthy, Barry, Naismith, Mirallas, Lennon, Lukaku
Everton substitutes: Joel, McGeady, Kone, Besic, Barkley, Osman, Alcaraz.

Max Wilson
47 Posted 02/05/2015 at 14:26:59
OMG! Just seen our team sheet. The number of duds on the bench is frightening. RM isnÂ’t using last Sundays line up, heÂ’s got Barkley and Ossie on the bench, Besic is there too, and heÂ’s got Naismith up front with Lukaku.

The rest looks okay but you only need one wrong choice in this league and with what's at stake to Villa, to give the game away. Not happy here. A game of wasted opportunities could be coming up.

Patrick Murphy
48 Posted 02/05/2015 at 14:41:29
Max – WTF???... do you already know the result? How can you be unhappy with the team selection? Barkley made some really poor passes in good positions last week and probably deserved to be benched, at least Martinez has given up on playing three No 10s at the same time. At the end of today’s game, you may be proved correct, but let’s at least see how the game pans out before jumping off the edge of the cliff.
Nick Entwistle
49 Posted 02/05/2015 at 14:43:18
I was thinking more this, Max.

Coleman Jagielka Stones Baines

Jim Bennings
50 Posted 02/05/2015 at 20:32:44
We have thrown in too many piss-poor performances this season and sadly today was just another to add to the collection.

I am not going to ignorantly forget the quality of last weekÂ’s mauling of Manchester United but equally I canÂ’t simply forget the dross that has gone on before it from August right through to March. I canÂ’t simply forget sitting through Southampton and Hull away, or being totally outfought twice by Stoke or the Newcastle horror show at Christmas, all capped off by the capitulation in Kiev.

For me, the last few weeks has simply clouded our judgments slightly and papered over some gaping cracks in the foundations of Everton FC under Martinez. It's like Martinez never ever learns anything. Why would you YET AGAIN change a winning team that would have been buzzing from last Sunday?

The man has continually chopped and changed his teams all season; if that continues into next season, then how you can ever get confidence from continuity and consistency??

I personally donÂ’t think Martinez has a clue what his best team is, itÂ’s almost like even when we get the odd decent win, he still feels the need to tinker with things which then usually results in ballsing it up big style.

IÂ’m struggling to see how things are going to drastically improve from this season unless he learns how to manage the club properly. He still struggles to motivate the team; only against United last week have we shown anything like the correct application starting a match on the front foot.

We canÂ’t afford to slacked off in the last three games because we are going to lose our top half place and thatÂ’s a few million pounds plus it's also a lot harder to be attractive to good players finishing 11th or 12th.

All said and done, though, itÂ’s been a shite shite season.

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