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Aston Villa vs Everton – Match Preview

Following Aston Villa‘s 2-0 loss at Bournemouth on the opening weekend of the new Premier League (PL) season, manager Steven Gerrard claimed his team “had themselves to blame” after giving up two goals from set pieces. As a result of that outcome, his club has now only managed to win two of their previous 12 Premier League games, a concerning pattern that is beginning to bring more attention on the former Liverpool star.

He would relish defeating Everton this weekend, a team Villa first met in 1888, and an old rival of his, to relieve some of that burden. He can find solace in Villa’s recent H2H record against their Merseyside opponents, as they have won their past six H2H Premier League meetings without losing (W4, D2). Villa kept a clean sheet in each of the previous three encounters in that stretch, as well as in each of their previous two home games in the Premier League this season (W2).

The news that striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin would be out for a while stunned Everton in the days leading up to their 1-0 home loss to Chelsea. Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina both sustained probable long-term injuries in last Saturday’s spirited loss, adding to boss Frank Lampard’s injury woes. Conor Coady, a former defender for Wolves, and Amadou Onana, a central midfielder, have both been added by the Toffees as a minimum measure of response.

Everton had some of the worst away record in the Premier League last season (W2, D4, L13), and they haven’t liked recent matches against Villa either, but they do have a decent track record of doing well on the road when the season begins. In fact, they have won their last 11 away games to start the season without a loss (W5, D6).

Players to watch:

Villa forward Danny Ings loves playing Everton, and his six strikes against them is the joint-highest number of goals he’s scored against one single opponent. Demarai Gray, who is one of the candidates to lead the Everton frontline, had one run of scoring in three straight PL matches last season, with the first coming in the Toffees’ opening away game of that campaign.

Side fact:

Although this is the first managerial meeting between the two, no player featured against (34), or beat, Gerrard more often than Lampard (16) during their playing careers.

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