David Moyes takes his Everton side to Villa Park in confident mood after their 1-0 win over title challengers Manchester United on the opening day of the season. Aston Villa will pose tough opposition under new boss Paul Lambert, who was unlucky to see his first game as boss end in defeat.
Villa were narrowly beaten 1-0 by newly promoted West Ham United and will be optimistic against Everton, despite the Toffees’ recent form. Villa are unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League meetings against Everton, but have won just one of their last 13 outings at home. Lambert’s side are on a run of 11 league games without a win and will need to change that form to keep clear of relegation.
Lambert’s attacking options are boosted by the returning Nathan Delfouneso, who is back fit following a thigh problem. Defender Chris Herd is also available for the fixture against Everton, but Lambert is still without Gabriel Agbonlahor, Richard Dunne and Mark Albrighton.
Everton started their season brilliantly with the win over United in a game which was dominated by Belgian international Marouane Fellaini. The 25 year old recovered from a groin problem to face United and appeared to come out of the game without any other worries. He should start against Villa and could partner new signing Kevin Mirallas up front.
Mirallas had to watch from the stands against United, but he has been cleared to play and could replace Nikica Jelavic up front. Jelavic required treatment on a groin problem at the end of Monday’s game and may not be fully fit to play. Sylvain Distin also hobbled off at the end and is looking to be in contention for the trip to Villa Park.
Darren Bent could be one for the scoresheet against the Toffees, as he has scored three goals in the last three Premier League games between the two sides. Everton’s poor record at Villa Park could be the only thing stopping them from a uncharacteristically great start to the campaign.