Aston Villa need another victory tonight against Everton if they are to pull off a great escape and stay in the Premier League.
Villa were four points from safety with three games to play at the start of the evening, and with the worst goal difference of the relegation candidates Dean Smith knows they must find at least a draw, and probably more, here tonight. Everton are in a poor spell of form and come into the game on the back of a 3-0 thumping by Wolves.
Follow all the action below:
15 mins: Half chance for Samatta. El Mohamady gets forward for Aston Villa and puts a well directed ball into the middle of the box. Keane and Samatta both go for the aerial ball with the Everton central defender doing just enough to ensure Samatta doesn’t connect cleanly and the Villa striker’s header goes wide.
12 mins: Digne and Bernard combine over on Everton’s left wing. Digne gets to the edge of the box before he passes it back into then middle. The ball is worked back out wide to Bernard who crosses the ball into the box and hits the crossbar!
9 mins: Trezeguet takes on Coleman over on Aston Villa’s left side but he loses the ball. Everton play the ball up to Richarlison who has drifted out wide to the left. He whips a cross into the box and Mings tries to clear it. He flicks the ball on and it hits Calvert-Lewin before going out for a goal kick.
6 mins: Samatta is sandwiched between Iwobi and Coleman and loses the ball. Coleman passes it to Davies who sends a long ball up to Richarlison. Konsa comes across to challenge him and he forces Richarlison to run the ball out of play.
3 mins: Early chance for Everton. Iwobi drifts into the right side and the box and floats a cross into the middle of the area. Calvert-Lewin attempts an overhead kick but doesn’t catch it well and the shot loops over the bar.
Five minutes to go until kick off. Who’s taking this one Everton or Aston Villa?
It’s safe to say Carlo Ancelotti was not happy with Everton’s performance against Wolves. He told Sky Sports that he expects a reaction from his team this evening. Take a look at his pre-match interview:
There’s some truth to Dean Smith’s words about Everton performing well at Goodison Park. They are unbeaten here in 10 Premier League matches, winning five and drawing five.
It’s the Toffees’ longest home run without a defeat since an 11 game run that ended in December 2016.
When asked about Everton, Smith added:
“Everton are a wounded animal [after Wolves defeat]. They were hurting after the game. Their performances at Goodison have been okay. It’s been away from home where their performances levels haven’t been as good. I’m sure Carlo will have them up for tonight.”
Aston Villa boss, Dean Smith, talked to Sky Sports about the pressure his team are under in their relegation battle, he said:
“It’s a very big evening. No bigger than it was on Sunday but obviously the pressure is building. There’s just a few games left and they’re ones we have to win so tonight we’re coming here to try and win the game.
“It’s certainly given the lads a big lift. Their performances have merited at least two or three wins since we’ve come back and we had to wait until Sunday to get that win against Crystal Palace. It was fully deserved on the day and it gives them that belief to keep persisting with the performance levels. If you do that then you win games.”
Everton versus Aston Villa is the most played fixture in English top-flight history with the Toffees winning 76 of the 203 meetings compared to Villa’s 74.
If Villa do manage to pick up all three points tonight they’ll have secured their first league double over Everton since the 2000/01 season.
But, it’s been over a decade since Aston Villa last won at Goodison Park. You have to go back to December 2008 when they won here 3-2.
England’s No. 1 goalkeeper has come under criticism for his form of late after making a serious of bumbling errors. Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti conceded that Pickford’s current form is alarming:
Post lockdown form…
Aston Villa have had a tough time of things. Seven matches since the restart, one win, two draws and four losses later they remain four points adrift of safety.
The good news is that their sole victory came in their last match, a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace last Sunday.
Can Villa take that momentum with them to Goodison Park tonight?
Post lockdown form…
Carlo Ancelotti has been a revitalising figure at Goodison Park since he took over but the restart of the Premier League has seen the Toffees in indifferent form to say the least.
In the six matches since lockdown, Everton have won two, drawn two and lost two. The most recent match ending in a 3-0 defeat away to Wolves.
As things stand…
Aston Villa (30) go into the match 19th in the Premier League table, four points away from safety. Immediately above them are Bournemouth (31) who have played a game more. Then come Watford and West Ham (34 points each).
With just two games left after this one Aston Villa need to pick up all three points here if they have any hopes of remaining in the top flight next season.
Everton are safe with no prospects of making it into Europe next season.
Team news – Changes
Carlo Ancelotti makes five changes to his team after labelling their spirit against Wolves as unacceptable. Yerry Mina is injured so he was forced out with Mason Holgate, Alex Iwobi, Bernard, Andre Gomes and Seamus Coleman all returning.
For Aston Villa, Neil Taylor has a hamstring injury so he’s replaced with Matt Targett in defence.
When is it and what time is kick-off?
The match will begin at 6pm on Thursday 16 July at Goodison Park.
How can I watch it online and on TV?
The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Ultra HD, and Sky subscribers can also stream the game on the Sky Go app.
If you’re not a Sky customer, you can grab a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch without a subscription.