Everton vs Aston Villa – Premier League preview and team news

Everton are searching for their first home league win of the season as they take on an Aston Villa side which has lost its last three Premier League matches without scoring.

The achievements of last season were always going to be tough to replicate for the Toffees, and so far it has been much more a struggle in Roberto Martinez’ second year in charge. Things should get better, but they need Romelu Lukaku to start scoring regularly alongside Steven Naismith.

The win at West Bromwich Albion remains their only one in the league, with too many goals having been conceded despite the promise being shown by defender John Stones. Defeat at Manchester United despite late pressure leaves them just a single place above the drop zone.

Aston Villa have just come through a daunting run of fixtures with three points, resulting in a slide from second in the table to 10th, and the absence of captain Ron Vlaar has been a major hindrance.

However, they now have a presence in attack thanks to the return of Christian Benteke, and their pace on the break could unsettle the hosts in the same way as when Crystal Palace earned victory at Goodison Park in September.

Stones misses out for Everton after picking up an injury to his ankle. Kevin Mirallas is also unavailable, while this game comes too soon for Ross Barkley.

The visitors have Vlaar back available, but fellow centre-back Philippe Senderos is a major doubt. Libor Kozak is still recovering from a broken leg.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Everton v Aston Villa

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