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Everton v Aston Villa: Match Preview

The Toffees will have to be wary of the Villans' new manager Remi Garde in their encounter on Saturday...

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton face Aston Villa on Saturday, and will be full expected to gain three points from the encounter with the relegation scrappers.

Still in the top half, a win could help the Blues to get right back in to the battle for the European places. A victory is also important to stay ahead of Liverpool in the table.

The Opposition

New Villa manager Remi Garde got off to a good, if lucky, start in their 0-0 draw against Manchester City before the international break. As such, the Midlands outfit may not be the same proposition they were under Tim Sherwood.

Gabby Agbonlahor and Rudy Gestede are both doubts for the clash, while defender Jordan Amavi has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. This leaves the Villans with few options in the final third and weakened at the back.

After winning 6-2 against Sunderland in their last home match, the Blues must be hoping they can similarly put away Villa.

Team News

There is plenty of good news for Everton on the injury front. Mohamed Besic featured for Bosnia in the international break, and Tom Cleverley is also ready to play again according to Roberto Martinez.

Leighton Baines may also be fit in time, which could be vital for the back line. Brendan Galloway picked up a knock while with the England Under 21s, making him a doubt for the weekend. With Bryan Oviedo still injured, this could lead to problems at left-back. However, it must be hoped that at least one of the pair make the match.

The Last Word

This is an encounter which the Blues really need to be winning if they have any ideas of finishing above mid-table this season. However, after years of fortress Goodison under David Moyes and in the first year of Roberto Martinez's reign, our record at home hasn't been great for the last 12 months. A win on Saturday would be the first back-back victories at home since April, and a clean sheet would be the first at Goodison Park this season.

So there are some worries ahead of the match, but the team are still up against a side who have failed to win in since the opening day of the season. As such, it is likely that Martinez will throw everything at Villa in an attempt to see them off early on. The ability of Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley to break down a packed defence will be vital against a team who are likely to sit very deep. Arouna Kone may also get a game to take some of the pressure off Romelu Lukaku up front.

Predicted Everton XI: Howard, Coleman, Baines, Stones, Funes Mori, Barry, McCarthy, Barkley, Deulofeu, Kone, Lukaku.