Aston Villa v Everton Betting Preview
Aston Villa, still searching for their first points, host Marco Silva's Everton in the Premier League's Friday night game.
Dean Smith’s Aston Villa have shown plenty about them in the Premier League so far, but they’re still waiting for their first points on the board after losing to Tottenham and Bournemouth, while there’s a sense that Everton are yet to click into gear, though they look solid at the back and have picked up four points.
It’s been a three-year absence, but Everton proved something of a bogey team for the Villans before. They’ve just two of their last 15 Premier League matches against the Toffees (W2 D7 L6), while they lost home away (3-1 at Villa Park, 4-0 at Goodison Park) during the 2015-16 season in which they were relegated.
Leading until the final 20 minutes against last season’s Champions League finalists Spurs was an impressive way for Villa to return to the top flight, although eventually they couldn’t withstand the pressure, going on to lose 3-1. Then, it was only defensive lapses – rather than their overall shape and gameplan – that proved their undoing in the 2-1 defeat at home to Bournemouth last Saturday.
According to xG analysts (expected goals), Villa had the lion’s share of chances against Bournemouth and can consider themselves unlucky not to pick up any points.
Dean Smith has no new injury concerns, with Kortney Hause, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia all remaining sidelined, so he could go with the same starting eleven once again, with the spine of key men Tyrone Mings in defence, John McGinn and Jack Grealish in midfield, and Wesley leading the line.
Visitors Everton are the only team yet to concede a goal after two Premier League games, while Yerry Mina, often sidelined through injury last time, is looking an adequate replacement for Kurt Zouma, who returned from his loan to go back to his parent club.
Silva will be satisfied with his team’s organisation, and the protection that the two at the base of midfield, Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, provide his defence. Former Villa man Fabian Delph could return to make his debut, although he remains a doubt, while Lucas Digne is expected to recover from the thigh injury that forced him off during last week’s 1-0 win over Watford.
While the defence looks in good shape, the manager might be concerned about his team’s lack of cutting edge, having dominated but managed just two shots on target against Watford, whilst drawing a blank against Crystal Palace in a goalless draw the week before.
He may look to give former Juventus striker Moise Kean a first start here, after the Italian teenager made a lively substitute appearance last time out.
We expect this to be another low-scoring, tight game, but Everton’s superior Premier League experience, and the pedigree of players like Kean and Richarlison, could see them edge it.
Recommended Bet: Everton to win 1-0 – 9/1 with Bet365*
*prices correct at time of writing and are subject to change