View: Aston Villa can still expose vulnerable Everton despite recent uptick in form
Aston Villa will be looking to avoid four defeats on the spin when they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton on Saturday afternoon.
The Toffees have been rejuvenated since the arrival of Sean Dyche and will be looking to make it three wins in a row at home when they face off against Unai Emery’s side.
Despite Villa’s recent poor form, they can be let off due to the calibre of their opponents. Manchester City and Arsenal have proven stern tests for the Villans – and in-form Leicester also enjoyed a successful visit to the West Midlands.
Clearly, an improvement is required at the weekend and despite Everton’s upturn in form, there’s still a chance for Emery’s men to cause the Toffees plenty of issues.
The Toffees are the joint-lowest scorers in the top flight with just 17 league goals to their name to date. And as per Whscored, only one team has averaged a lower number of shots per 90 minutes.
Dyche’s men won’t be a constant threat to Villa’s goal and that could play into Emery’s side’s hands. Against City and Arsenal, they were pushed back into their own half for large swathes and that has exposed some defensive issues.
If Villa dominate the ball and restrict Everton, as a number of sides have, they stand a good chance of getting a result, regardless of the Toffees’ good recent performances. Furthermore, In an attacking sense, there should be chances for Villa’s forward-thinking players to make an impact.
Everton have allowed the second most shots on their goal in the Premier League, with Dyche’s side allowing 15.6 per 90 minutes. Despite the three defeats on the spin, Villa have managed to score five goals and have been more clinical in front of goal. Ollie Watkins has been less wasteful and Emery’s attacking midfield options have also proven to be a consistent threat.
If Dyche’s side allow a similar number of chances on Saturday, there’s a good chance Villa will walk away with at least one or two goals to their name.
Everton under Dyche will be a tough nut for Villa to break down. Despite being at home, they will be more than content to allow Emery’s side possession in less dangerous areas and look to get men behind the ball.
With this in mind, it’s essential Villa start the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Emi Buendia. Emery needs players who will be able to create and break down a stubborn defence, as opposed to players who are better athletes – more attuned to playing on the counter-attack.
Regardless of Everton’s recent rejuvenation, they’re a side which is struggling for a reason and if Villa maintain their recent level of performance, they should come away with at least a point.
In other Aston Villa news, the club want to reunite with a former player for a fee in excess of £40million in the summer.