Everton's Colombian duo will be absent as the team travel to Villa Park but there is hope both could be fit to face Sheffield United on Sunday
With their European hopes very much alive following their narrow victory at West Ham on Sunday, Everton are on the road again as they travel to Aston Villa looking for what would be a club record-equalling 12th away win of the season.
The Toffees go into the game sitting three points behind the Hammers and with the knowledge that a victory would leapfrog them into joint-fifth place, at least until Liverpool, currently occupying fifth, play Manchester United in the 8pm kick-off.
While lamenting his team's home form, Carlo Ancelotti has rightly lauded his player's performances away from Goodison Park and as the chase for Europe heats up with just a few games to go he will be geeing his men up for a final push.
He will be without James Rodriguez again, however, for the trip to Villa Park and Yerry Mina will also be sidelined for the game. James was set to face the Midlanders in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park a couple of weeks ago but was forced to withdraw during the warm-up when he felt tightness in his troublesome calf.
He missed the win at West Ham on Sunday but is expected to return to full training on Friday with a view to playing a part against Sheffield United in the Toffees' penultimate home match of the season.
Mina was forced off at Upton Park on his latest return from a thigh injury, with the complaint flaring up again during the second half of the 1-0 win.
Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful that he, too, will be available for the game against the relegated Blades this coming weekend.
Villa's dream start to the season is a distant memory at this stage and according to SportsBettingDime.com, oddsmakers are split on which team should be favored this weekend when Everton visits Villa Park. One sportsbook has the draw-no-bet odds at -112/-107 in favour of Villa, another has it at -104/-111 in favour of Everton, while a third has it even. Basically the odds are as close as you will ever see.
Villa will be without the suspended Ollie Watkins who was sent off for two bookable offences during his side's 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United but manager Dean Smith has indicated that Jack Grealish is expected to return following a long injury lay-off, although he is unlikely to start.
The absences of Watkins and Grealish from the starting XI works in Everton's favour, of course, but regardless Ancelotti has promised that the Blues will play “very differently” to the way they did in the reverse fixture at the start of the month.
That evening, the Italian fielded something akin to a 4-3-3 formation whereas Sunday's win in London was based on a three-man back line with Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne as wingbacks. That is likely to be the approach again against Villa, with Mason Holgate likely to come in for Mina.
In midfield, Abdoulaye Doucouré could start for the first time in weeks after being given an additional few days' rest by not being used at West Ham and that will probably mean Tom Davies dropping back to the bench. That is unless Ancelotti opts for four at the back, keeps Davies as the holding man in front of defence and affords Allan and Doucouré license to press forward, with Gylfi Sigurdsson also asked to participate more in attack.
Win and Everton will have propelled themselves right into the mix for the Europa League and despite Anclelotti dismissing the notion out of hand, depending on how Chelsea and Leicester fare in their final two games, the top four is still a mathematical possibility.
Put simply, the recipe for Everton is to keep winning.
Kick-off: 6pm, Thursday 13 May 2021 Sky Sports
Referee: Martin Atkinson
VAR: Graham Scott
Last Time: Aston Villa 2 - 0 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Godfrey, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Allan, Doucouré, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (79)
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1 Posted 12/05/2021 at 15:47:18
Although he is class give me High energy and workrate every time in this game.
We need to learn the lesson from Goodison and beef up the MF so I would have Allan, Davies, Doucoure in there.
Godfrey to mark Watkins and keep him out of the game, Michael Keane as sweeper and Seamus and Digne with Siggy just behind DCL and Richy.
2 Posted 12/05/2021 at 15:55:53
3 Posted 12/05/2021 at 15:57:38
4 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:00:01
5 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:09:24
6 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:11:51
7 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:13:58
8 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:20:53
On the subject of new players, surely we can get Sandre Berger away from Sheff Utd for a lot less than the £35m being quoted in the press today.
9 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:21:54
10 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:21:58
11 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:34:10
12 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:34:26
Well that's you scrubbed from the list of possible replacements mate.
13 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:38:41
14 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:46:13
He has had injury problems this season though.
15 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:50:58
16 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:55:42
17 Posted 12/05/2021 at 16:57:58
18 Posted 12/05/2021 at 17:23:04
19 Posted 12/05/2021 at 17:29:44
All I can say is Carlo please please don't partner Keane and Holgate together, what a recipe for disaster.
On the James topic, I'm on the fence, I love him because he's got an absolute wand of a left foot and he was majestic in our win at Anfield and aided our 3-3 draw at Old Trafford but he's just not out on that pitch anything like enough.
I had high hopes that he would be our modern day Dennis Bergkamp or Matt le Tissier if you like, a relatively slow player athletism wise but streets ahead in footballing intelligence terms but he's never going to be a 30 game a season player.
20 Posted 12/05/2021 at 17:34:24
And now I expect somebody to chip in about an old time bonus Everton used to pay based on the crowd and win,draw and lose payments especially the crowd bonus for 4000 and the blokes who put the ball on those little stands for throw ins.
21 Posted 12/05/2021 at 17:37:20
As stated above Holgate and Keane together, has to be a no, surely?
22 Posted 12/05/2021 at 17:42:04
At best we'll have him for at best 50% of games - if we are lucky !!!!
23 Posted 12/05/2021 at 17:43:55
24 Posted 12/05/2021 at 17:48:14
Rodriguez is one of the most gifted players in the entire league, its a crying shame for us that he cant get fit. You have to ask now is the the league too physical for him? Who would bet against him having similar problems next season?
26 Posted 12/05/2021 at 17:59:16
For James think Fernandes, Grealish, Maddison.
MF is where we need the creative spark.
Where James plays we need a fast goalscoring wideman and Siggy can do the job James is best at.
For me we should push the boat out for the best wideman we could afford along the lines of Leon Bailey.
WE need to unload all the crocks, Has beens and never will bes in the summer and get some top quality in otherwide we will never bridge the gap.
Well pointed out so that should make our CBs job a little easier.
27 Posted 12/05/2021 at 18:00:37
My 96 year old mutha could give Delph a run for his money lol.
28 Posted 12/05/2021 at 18:02:43
We'll win without them.
29 Posted 12/05/2021 at 18:21:45
30 Posted 12/05/2021 at 18:34:26
31 Posted 12/05/2021 at 18:34:59
Now that Mina is used to the prem it would be madness to sell him. Our best defender, best in the air in both boxes also.
They will be missed but we can handle Villa with our away set up. Got to be the 352 variation again.
32 Posted 12/05/2021 at 18:44:47
33 Posted 12/05/2021 at 18:47:42
And yes they also stated the PL trophy will be presented in front 10,000 fans at home to, yup you've guessed it!
34 Posted 12/05/2021 at 18:48:48
35 Posted 12/05/2021 at 19:13:51
I am sure James and his agent will sit down with Carlo and Brands at the end of the season to see where he thinks his future lies. My main gripe with Carlo has been chopping and changing formations and players far to regularly, and the time he has been here he must now decide his best 11 when everybody is fit.
36 Posted 12/05/2021 at 19:42:02
The James deal remains a steal, but the debate over whether we need someone who can stay on the pitch more consistently is a valid one.
37 Posted 12/05/2021 at 19:48:38
That sounds pritty fair if its possible
Mina is our second best defender after Godfrey definitely, Shame his physical part but Id keep I'm
Tomorrow the important thing would be getting doucoure starting and putting a reliable formation.
Great advantadge for us watkinss abscence
Wont be easy but I think its possible. Holgate wont mess again at all I expect after he got sent to the bench on the last game after that clumsy mistake at goodison.
Coleman keane Godfrey digne
Davies doucoure allan Richarlison
Siggy & DCL
My prediction anyway is somehow Coleman Or holgate will start, dont see Ancelotti risking that much doucoure and Allan with such tight fixtures.
38 Posted 12/05/2021 at 19:51:27
I expect us to beat Villa tomorrow night, we are the better side and providing (?) we put in the shift then we will shift up the table.
39 Posted 12/05/2021 at 20:02:29
We need a lot better than what he has to offer if we want to progress.
40 Posted 12/05/2021 at 20:05:49
41 Posted 12/05/2021 at 20:12:47
42 Posted 12/05/2021 at 20:18:42
As for Mina, well I had my doubts but he looks to be finding his feet but, like Keane, Holgate and Godfrey, he needs a settled partner to create that telepathic understanding players need, otherwise he will continue to struggle.
43 Posted 12/05/2021 at 20:32:15
You must have missed his Spurs goal which was undoubtedly sheer class.
44 Posted 12/05/2021 at 20:35:23
45 Posted 12/05/2021 at 22:41:00
Undoubtedly a good player but fuck me hes fragile
46 Posted 12/05/2021 at 22:49:22
Agreeing with Brian, you must have missed his 7 goals and 9 assists this season.
Tbf he was gash last season, it is a harsh critic that doesnt appreciate his improvement this year.
I personally dont think he is a starter in a top 4 team but I think hes a decent enough squad player who despite his age still has three years or so left in him.
Hes certainly a better player than Gomes, Iwobi, Delph or Davies
47 Posted 12/05/2021 at 22:53:45
48 Posted 12/05/2021 at 23:06:45
There have been some highlights but only a small handful.
The injuries don't help but most clubs have suffered so I don't think Everton's results would have been much different over the season.
It would be really nice to finish the season well starting with a revenge game at Villa but I do hope Holgate doesn't start.
We now have a serious shot at finishing 5th. and I hope they don't blow it like many other opportunities this season.
49 Posted 12/05/2021 at 23:12:31
James has started 20 premier league games this year plus two appearances from the bench. He has played the full 90 minutes in 8 games. He started the first 6 games and then his other 16 appearances have come in 4 blocks of 4 matches.
He has been on the field for 1698 minutes, the 11th highest amongst the first team. He will be 12th after tomorrow as Allan is just 6 minutes less at the moment.
Mina is 10th with 1849 minutes and 22 starts and one sub appearance.
I think that would make the verdict "not a crock"
50 Posted 13/05/2021 at 01:02:04
These buggers won SFA for 35 years until they struck oil and are already so complacent about winning stuff they think it has become their birthright!
Lets piss on their chips and nick a euro spot we hardly deserve.
51 Posted 13/05/2021 at 01:21:26
53 Posted 13/05/2021 at 01:51:47
I wouldnt give him a new contract now. But as Carlo said, no rush he has a year left on his deal and the option to extend. Id wait until Christmas, see if he maintains his form and if his absences dont increase
54 Posted 13/05/2021 at 04:46:07
As a big critic of Sigurdssons attitude, contribution and leadership as a senior pro over the last few years, I have to acknowledge that he has been decent this season. Given his salary though, I still wouldnt give him a new contract.
55 Posted 13/05/2021 at 05:41:39
56 Posted 13/05/2021 at 05:46:51
Gomes : Tethered to the other donkeys at Southport, or Blackpool (I believe they all got a Transfer) he has a moment (and only a moment) of something positive in any given 90 minutes if he lasts that long, in a game.
Holgate : For tying him to a desk and making him write out at least a thousand times or longer if it doesn't register. " I shall not be so arrogant in thinking I am better than I really am, and giving the ball away, and making stupid schoolboy errors, in almost every match in which I am lucky enough to be picked "
Delph : " To the Medicine Cabinet, or a fitness trainer, so that we may just see a little more of him as a useful sub, but not as a regular starter. "
Tom Davies : " To Harmony Hair Spray, Pantene and all the other hair products, please concentrate more on the game in hand and you could be an invaluable squad player, cut out the sideways/backways passing, the opposition goal is at the other end Tom!
Iwobi : " To a Football Manual. Again start to show us why you were transferred at an almost unbelievable Fee, you have some good skills that seem to evaporate in the final third, please look up and realise that your team-mates play in the same colour top as yourself. Go to Specsavers if necessary, or get checked for colour blindness, maybe a dispensation could be given for a Labrador to play alongside you. "
Pickford: To the goalposts. Whatever is that you are doing now, beggars the question, where was it all before? A change of diet possibly ? These brainfarts seem to have been well and truly eradicated, or am I speaking too soon?
Michael Keane : To the First Team sheet. I think you have vastly improved this season and were unlucky to lose your place a couple of games ago, keep it going whatever it is. "
Moise Kean : To any Club that pays. You certainly seem to be banging them in at PSG, possibly better players making it easy for you, whatever it is keep it up and earn a lucrative Transfer to give us more to spend. Clearly not suited to life with us, but no hard feeling and wish you all the best wherever you end up.
Ah well no more rope left, but hopefully we can end this season on something of a higher note than looked likely after blowing all those games in hand, and succumbing to teams we should have easily beaten especially at home. But then again, this is Everton and you never know what you are going to get, till the Fat Lady brings more rope!
57 Posted 13/05/2021 at 08:51:18
And Annika please give credit where credit is due..Siggy has had a solid season sprinkled with some lovely assists and goals. Remember his winner at Sheffield?
He hit a tremendous free kick that his old Swans teammate touches over the bar In east London the last game.
If James was fit as a fiddle there could be a reason for outsing Siggy but Gylfi has been an important player this term and I think Carlo will retain his talents next season to annoy you some more!
58 Posted 13/05/2021 at 09:04:52
59 Posted 13/05/2021 at 09:12:26
As for who stays and who goes at the end of the season we can worry about that after the 23rd of the month.
60 Posted 13/05/2021 at 09:56:51
Our problem with injuries relates to a lack of strength-in-depth compared with very top sides. We need to keep James, whilst increasing our strength-in-depth.
Not only do players like Harvey, McKenzie and James make football a beautiful game, they are examples of crucial players who are game-changers, and who can make the difference between being a middling team and a top team given a sufficient quality of squad.
61 Posted 13/05/2021 at 10:12:55
Me personally I think there is only 1 competition in Europe to be in and yet again it looks like we will fall short again. The Europa league consists of to many games and the money clubs receive for being in it is a pittance compared to the Champions league, and that's why it is always the main priority of the top teams to make sure they qualify for it. Get through the group stage and you get £40 million for the likes of a Leicester that does 2 things massively increases the money they can spend in the transfer market. And it also elevates the sort of player you can attract being in the Champions league. I have never heard a player say he wants to play for a club in the Europa league its always they want to play in the Champions league. Now if the Europa league is so badly funded I cant see anything going for this new Conference league UEFA are looking to set up, although they have called it the right name.
62 Posted 13/05/2021 at 10:27:30
Holgate Keane Godfrey
Coleman Allan Doucoure Digne
Siggy Calvert-Lewin Richarlison
SUBS: Olsen, Nkounkou, Davies, Delph, Iwobi, Bernard, King
Without Ollie Watkins and Grealish, we should be able to win this if everyone plays with the same intensity as against West Ham.
63 Posted 13/05/2021 at 10:38:33
64 Posted 13/05/2021 at 10:43:20
65 Posted 13/05/2021 at 10:46:12
Sorry mate, I was as guilty as the others, but hold my hands (op) or oops, up! You are right of course, I stand well corrected. I will administer appropriate punishment to the others as I see fit. 😜💙
66 Posted 13/05/2021 at 11:42:45
67 Posted 13/05/2021 at 12:25:15
68 Posted 13/05/2021 at 12:45:24
69 Posted 13/05/2021 at 12:45:25
70 Posted 13/05/2021 at 12:47:02
71 Posted 13/05/2021 at 12:47:58
Worst thing for us tonight will be starting with Holgate and him being arrogant like he can be. He needs to be like Coleman and Godfrey. Let's hope the penny has dropped? Maybe he needs Big Dunc to wind him up! Apart from that, same approach and performance as W Ham should get us a result. Only niggle is Allan's pace. Maybe Doucoure with Davies?
72 Posted 13/05/2021 at 12:54:52
73 Posted 13/05/2021 at 13:09:09
I do agree that the Europa /Europa Conference are lesser competitions financially, but do believe that Ancelotti has Moshiri's backing to be in them as a plan to push necessary change at Everton, as a recent meeting would suggest.
74 Posted 13/05/2021 at 13:10:17
DCL and Richie have goals in them, so does Siggy who knows how to arrive in the box at the right moment - ignore what he does outside as his job it looks like is to man the position but be in the box to do what no other midfield player in today's team can do which is finish. Let's hope Doucoure gets game time too which allows Siggy to get in the box more often as him and Allen win the ball higher up the pitch. Or Allen plays 65 mins and then wrapped in cotton wool and Doucoure comes on for our 2nd boost in the middle.
On DCL, I like his run and goal in the last game. That was like Brazil's Romario or The Phenomenom Ronaldo in the old YouTube videos, the untracable bending run past the centre halves and one-on-one with the keeper. Another improvement - well done. A few more like these please.
75 Posted 13/05/2021 at 13:42:50
My inputs are as follows:
1. James didn't really have a pre-season and he has played a good deal of games.
For someone who is supposedly injury-prone, without a pre-season, and playing in the EPL for the first time, I think that needs to be taken into context.
2. I don't have the stats, but I'm sure someone would have worked out the wins-draw-losses ratios, with James in the side, compared to without him in the side.
3. How many of James' assists and goals were key contributions, compared to inconsequential ones? e.g. one thing levelled against Lukaku was that he seldom made key contributions.
4. Part of a team moving forward, is being able to have different gameplans. James is different from anyone else that we have, that allows us to that option.
5. "Blood and thunder" style of football can only serve a team so much; Leeds is probably the epitome of what I think some fans are imagining us to have.
But if Leeds is what we are aspiring to be, then we are going to remain mid-table.
76 Posted 13/05/2021 at 14:03:02
Holgate Keane Godfrey
Coleman Doucure Allan Digne
77 Posted 13/05/2021 at 15:52:37
78 Posted 13/05/2021 at 16:25:59
79 Posted 13/05/2021 at 16:26:30
STATISTICS: Both good players but CL has had "0" assists and Richy "3". this entire season.I would like to see King start somewhere rather than the last five minutes. NO player can demonstrate their worth to a team when always thrown on for the last few minutes.
80 Posted 13/05/2021 at 16:29:51
81 Posted 13/05/2021 at 16:35:14
Yeah it was on TV. If I recall correctly, we were getting hammered, then Cottee got a couple of consolation goals and came off beaming like his two goals somehow offset the team's loss.
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