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Jan 22, 2022 at 12.30pm UK
Aston VillaAston Villa

Gomes (45+1'), Calvert-Lewin (50'), Mina (58'), Allan (82'), Godfrey (83')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Buendia (45+3')
Martinez (69'), Cash (75'), Mings (86'), Ings (90+3')

Preview: Everton vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Everton vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Everton and Aston Villa, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Life after Rafael Benitez begins now for Everton, who prepare to welcome Aston Villa to Goodison Park for Saturday lunchtime's Premier League battle.

The Toffees went down 2-1 to Norwich City in an embarrassing defeat last weekend, while Steven Gerrard's side rescued a point in a 2-2 draw versus Manchester United.

Match preview

Some may argue that the writing was on the wall for Rafael Benitez since his first day at Everton, with the fans making their discontent known up to and during the Spaniard's final game in charge, which ended in humiliation at Carrow Road.

Michael Keane's unfortunate own goal and Adam Idah's finish after a quick counter-attack quickly put the Canaries two goals up before the 20-minute mark, and Richarlison's spectacular acrobatic effort proved to be nothing more than a mere consolation for Everton and Benitez.

Duncan Ferguson prepares to oversee operations for the time being amid links with Jose Mourinho, Frank Lampard and former teenage protege Wayne Rooney, but for now, the goal will simply be to improve a terrible tally of just one win from their last 13 in the Premier League.

Everton can forget about any sort of European charge this season, as Ferguson takes temporary charge with his side down in 16th in the table - six points clear of 18th-placed Norwich City with two games in hand - and relegation is simply unthinkable for the Toffees.

The hosts can also boast a measly one win from their last six Premier League encounters at Goodison Park, so the new manager bounce cannot come soon enough for Everton, as their upcoming opponents sure are enjoying life under their recent appointment.

Sending shockwaves in the January transfer window with the arrival of Philippe Coutinho - the Brazilian once again being taken under the wing of Steven Gerrard - Villa were indebted to their new little magician as they came back from 2-0 down to force a share of the spoils with Man United.

A strike in either half from Bruno Fernandes seemingly settled the contest in the Red Devils' favour, but Jacob Ramsey's 77th-minute effort gave Villa a glimmer of hope before Coutinho came off the bench to slot home from close range and send the home crowd into pandemonium.

Aston Villa playing out a Premier League draw is certainly a collector's item - the Lions had not shared the points in a top-flight fixture since August before the visit of Man United - and Gerrard's side now find themselves 13th in the standings ahead of the weekend.

Villa's draw with the Red Devils was quite the way to end their three-game losing streak across all tournaments, but five defeats from their last seven away from home in the Premier League is an alarming statistic, which the travelling fans will certainly hope to see rectified given their winter arrivals.

Everton fell to a humbling 3-0 defeat at Villa Park when the sides first met back in September and also suffered a 2-1 loss on home soil last term, but not since the 2000-01 season have Aston Villa secured a top-flight double over the Merseyside giants.

Everton Premier League form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Everton form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Aston Villa Premier League form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

Aston Villa form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Team News

Everton remain without Africa Cup of Nations representative Alex Iwobi, while Tom Davies is expected to spend at least another month on the sidelines with a thigh strain.

Jarrad Branthwaite is reportedly back in full training and could feature this weekend alongside Allan, but Fabian Delph will once again miss out through illness, and loan signing Anwar El Ghazi cannot face his parent club.

Salomon Rondon will almost certainly make way for Richarlison in the final third, and there may be scope for Andros Townsend to return to the first XI.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa will be boosted by the return of John McGinn from a one-game ban, with Morgan Sanson sure to make way for the returning Scotland international.

Trezeguet and Bertrand Traore remain on AFCON duty, and Ezri Konsa had to come off against Man United with a hip injury and is now a doubt, joining Marvelous Nakamba and Leon Bailey in the treatment room.

Danny Ings's spot in the XI will be in danger if Coutinho is deemed fit enough to start, and Lucas Digne prepares for a swift reunion with his former club.

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Godfrey, Mina, Keane, Mykolenko; Townsend, Doucoure, Gomes, Gray; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Hause, Mings, Digne; McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey; Buendia, Watkins, Coutinho

We say: Everton 1-2 Aston Villa

The re-introduction of 'Big Dunc' to the Everton dugout will undoubtedly go down better with the home crowd, but a reinvigorated Villa side will give the interim coach a baptism of fire on Saturday.

Results have not always gone Gerrard's way since his return to the Premier League, but we have confidence in the Lions' ability to prolong Everton's misery with another clinical display in front of goal.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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