Aston Villa vs. Everton Match Preview
Game week 2 of the Premier League offers us a Sunday treat at Villa park, as Aston Villa host Everton.
Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming match…
The Lead Up
The first weekend of the season began with disappointment for both of these sides, as Aston Villa received a 5-1 drumming at the hands of Newcastle United; while visitors Everton conceded a late goal in a 1-0 defeat to Fulham.
While Villa were surprising in defeat, the manner in which Everton lost last week compounded their already well-documented struggles as they failed to take a number of good chances in the game.
Both sides will be looking to bounce back immediately this weekend, and this fixture has been kind to the Villains as they have won six of the last eight meetings between the two teams.
Aston Villa showed positives in their opening game, despite a heavy defeat.
Offensively, they managed to create two big chances against Newcastle, place six of their 13 shots on target. They also ended the game with an expected goals (xG) tally of 1.77 and 1.85xG on target (xGOT).
Alongside their chance creation, they also showed fans a glimpse of their attacking pace through their front three countering at great speed at any given opportunity. Star signing Moussa Diaby impressed on his debut, scoring a well-taken volley in the Newcastle box.
Villa will be without influential defender Tyrone Mings after a serious knee injury saw him stretchered off the pitch last week; with Leon Bailey being an uncertainty after being substituted with a lower back injury in the same game.
Attacking players Jhon Duran and Bertrand Traore began training with the side earlier this week but neither player looks close to full fitness.
Predicted Lineup: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne; Kamara, Luiz, McGinn, Bailey; Diaby, Watkins.
Everton come into the game in the same strange place they’ve been in for the past 2 years.
They performed admirably in their season opener against Fulham, creating 4 big chances; finishing the match with an impressive 2.73xG and 3.31xGOT.
However, it was once again a recurring tale of chances not being taken, as well as a controversially disallowed goal, that sunk the Merseyside club. Failure to put their chances away allowed Fulham to stay in the game and eventually punish their hosts with a late goal from Bobby Decordova-Reid.
Everton Manager Sean Dyche gave fans some hope in his press conference this week, claiming talismanic striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is fit enough for consideration for this weekend’s game. The forward has been stifled by injuries over the past few seasons, but completed two 45 minute cameos in pre-season and a full 90 minute training match against Manchester United on Tuesday.
Summer signings Youssef Chermiti, Jack Harrison, and Arnaut Danjuma are all confirmed to be out of contention due to either fitness concerns or injuries; with Vitalii Mykolenko and Andre Gomes suffering the same fate.
Predicted Lineup: Pickford; Patterson, Keane, Tarkowski, Young; Gueye, Onana, Doucoure; Garner, Calvert-Lewin, Iwobi.
In conclusion, fans and neutrals can probably expect an exciting, end-to-end game on Sunday.
Aston Villa showed real attacking intent against Newcastle, despite the heavy 5-1 defeat, and will look to pressure Everton with their attacking pace and high, compact team setup.
Everton will look to remain sturdy in defence and wait for spaces to open up where they can threaten their hosts, where they will hope to overcome their goalscoring woes.
Key Player: Villa striker Ollie Watkins could play a key part in this fixture, as the Englishman scored in the last meeting between the two sides, and also recorded an assist last week against Newcastle. He scored 15 goals and recorded 6 assists in 37 league games last season.
Where to Watch: Aston Villa vs. Everton is live on Sky Sports Main Events and Sky Sports Premier League on Sunday, 20th August at 2pm.
Score Prediction: Aston Villa 3-1 Everton.
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