Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Aston Villa vs Everton in the Premier League on Saturday Night Football; kick-off 5.30pm.
Emi Buendia and Emi Martinez will be assessed when they return from Croatia on Saturday, just hours before Aston Villa play Everton.
The pair have been training in Croatia to avoid being forced to quarantine after international duty with Argentina and Villa boss Dean Smith will make a late call on their availability.
Youngsters Jaden Philogene-Bidace and Carney Chukwuemeka are injured for the hosts.
Everton remain without Dominic Calvert-Lewin but James Rodriguez might be involved for the first time this season.
Calvert-Lewin now has a quadriceps injury to add to the broken toe he was nursing and it looks like he could be out for up to three weeks.
Rodriguez, who was heavily linked with a move away from Goodison Park during the transfer window and has yet to be involved under Rafael Benitez, has been training with his team-mates and the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner could be on the bench on Saturday.
How to follow
Aston Villa vs Everton is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm; kick-off 5.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Last time out…
Jones Knows prediction
Villa got plenty of tongues wagging with their performance at Chelsea. Yes, getting done 3-0 is not exactly a reason for cheer but the performance on show, with Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings starting in attack, looked promising. They created an expected goal figure of 1.73 at Stamford Bridge and posted 18 shots on Edouard Mendy’s goal. Since Thomas Tuchel took charge, no opposition team has amassed a higher expected goal figure in a Chelsea home game.
The question is, can they be trusted to back up that performance in a completely different match scenario? Never trust one much-improved run in isolation, a wise horse racing punter told me. That may ring true here. I have my doubts on Villa with some snoozy and lackadaisical early-season showings, defined by me as the Grealish hangover, still lingering in my thoughts. I am happy to take them on with Everton in town and then start to respect them as a force in the future if backing the Chelsea performance up.
Everton will be happy to allow Villa the ball and that will suit Rafa Benitez’s boys down to the ground. Not many teams go to Brighton and play with such control and fizz on the counter-attack. They got a result there playing that way and this could be a similar outcome.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-2
BETTING ANGLE: Everton draw no bet (11/10 with Sky Bet)
- Aston Villa are unbeaten in four league games against Everton, winning two and drawing two. They’d only won two of their previous 15 Premier League meetings with the Toffees (D7 L6).
- Everton have won three of their last six away league games against Aston Villa (D1 L2), as many as they had in their previous 29 visits to Villa Park (W3 D12 L14).
- Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last four Premier League home games (W2 D2), last going longer without defeat at Villa Park in the competition in January 2015 under Paul Lambert (5 games).
- After a run that saw them keep 10 clean sheets in 17 Premier League games (14 goals conceded), Aston Villa have recorded just two shutouts in their last 16 in the competition (26 goals conceded). However, both of those clean sheets came in home games, including one against Everton in May.
- Everton have lost just two of their last 17 Premier League away games (W10 D5), with those defeats coming at Chelsea and Manchester City last season. The Toffees have recorded seven clean sheets in their last 10 away league games, as many as in their previous 33 on the road.