Paul Lambert takes his struggling Aston Villa side to Goodison Park.
A home defeat by Newcastle in midweek, combined with draws for Reading and Wigan, conspired to send Aston Villa to 19th place but manager Paul Lambert stuck to his philosophy of recruiting youngsters as the January transfer window closed. Whether the likes of Simon Dawkins and Yacouba Sylla can revive the visitors’ season remains to be seen. While Everton also opted for an unproven player in the form of John Stones, David Moyes has the advantage of being able to count on experienced players at the club to help the 18-year-old develop, something that Lambert appears to be sorely lacking.
Venue Goodison Park, Saturday 3pm
Last season Everton 2 Aston Villa 2
Referee Mike Jones
This season’s matches 14 Y51, R2, 3.79 cards per game
Subs from Mucha, Stones, Gibson, Jelavic, Oviedo, Naismith, Hitzlsperger, Vellios, Francisco, Duffy, McAleny
Injured Coleman (thigh, 16 Feb), Hibbert (calf, 16 Feb)
Form guide WDDWLW
Disciplinary record Y37 R2
Leading scorer Fellaini 8
Subs from Given, Ireland, Bent, Holman, Delph, Bowery, Bennett, Sylla, Stevens, Lichaj, Dawkins, Williams, El Ahmadi
Doubtful Delph (ankle)
Injured Herd (ankle, Mar), Albrighton (ankle, Apr), Gardner (knee, May), Dunne (groin, unknown), Petrov (leukaemia, unknown)
Form guide LDLDLL
Disciplinary record Y48 R2
Leading scorer Benteke 8
This is the most-played fixture in the English top flight. Villa have 72 wins to Everton’s 71 from the previous 195 league meetings.
Everton beat Villa for the first time in 13 league meetings in August this season. Everton’s last home victory in this fixture was in March 2006.
Six of the last eight league meetings have been drawn.
The Toffees have lost only one of their last 12 league matches.
They have only suffered three league defeats this season – their fewest at this stage of a season since 1978-79.
Everton have recovered 20 points from losing positions, a record bettered only by Manchester United (27).
Leon Osman has scored a personal-best five Premier League goals against Aston Villa.
Phil Neville is poised to make his 300th appearance for Everton.
Villa are winless in their last seven league matches, suffering five defeats and conceding 22 goals.
They have won five of their last 40 league matches.
Villa’s overall tally of 20 points is their equal-lowest after 24 games of a top-flight season. In 1955-56, they had an identical record of four wins, eight draws and 12 defeats.
Paul Lambert’s side have won just two points from losing positions this season, fewer than any other side.
The Villans have conceded a Premier League-high 46 goals.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
Steven Pienaar 12/1 to score first: Everton vs Aston Villa betting