Everton take on Aston Villa at Goodison Park on Saturday as Sean Dyche’s men search for their second consecutive win after managing a 1-0 victory over Leeds United last weekend. The Toffees will want to maintain their form and get a positive result in the hope of further creating a distance between them and the drop zone.
Two wins in last three games has infused new hope among Evertonians. Three weeks ago, Everton’s survival chances looked bleak but Dyche’s arrival has turned things around. After the Leeds United win, Everton jumped out of the drop zone for the first time since 3rd January, sitting 16th with 21 points on the board.
Everton’s home form will be vital from now until the end of the season. Villa have lost their last three games and Everton are riding high on momentum. EFC have the chance to sting Villa at a rapturous Goodison Park and walk away with three points.
Everton predicted lineup vs Aston Villa
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is still unavailable as he continues to recover from a hamstring issue. Amadou Onana is fit and available, whereas James Garner has also returned after his back injury. Nathan Patterson has been ruled out after suffering a minor knock on his knee. Dyche is unlikely to make several changes to the starting lineup.
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford signed a four and a half year extension at the club, staying at Everton till 2027. The Englishman has been one of the best players in this side and further pledged his loyalty by extending his contract despite uncertain times. Pickford has kept two clean sheets in last three games and will want to celebrate his contract extension with a win and potentially with a clean sheet.
Right back: Seamus Coleman
Patterson is back on the grass and played for the Everton U-21 side last weekend. He should have been fit for the Villa game but the Sctosman has a minor knock which keeps him out of the game. Seamus Coleman scored the winner against Leeds and is shining bright for the Merseysiders, leading by example.
Centre back: James Tarkowski
James Tarkowski has played every minute of the Premier League so far and looks solid in the backline. The former Burnley man is the commander in defence and has shown tremendous leadership qualities.
Centre back: Conor Coady
Conor Coady is another player who has been excellent under Dyche. The Englishman is on loan but his impressive performances are putting up a strong case for Everton to consider triggering the option to buy clause. Coady and Tarkowski will have the job to nullify Ollie Watkins.
Left back: Vitalii Mykolenko
Vitalii Mykolenko has reinvented himself under Dyche. The player had a substandard first half of the season but is finally coming around when it is required the most. Mykolenko isn’t able to offer much going forward but his defensive stability and work ethic is commendable.
Central midfield: Idrissa Gueye
Idrissa Gueye is another player reborn under Dyche. The Senegalese had an excellent game against Leeds and is showing the signs of vintage Gueye that rocked Goodison during his first spell as an Everton player.
Central midfield: Amadou Onana
There were concerns over the fitness of Onana who had a knee issue in the Leeds game and was eventually substituted. The Belgian did suffer a knock but he trained during the week and Dyche will have the 21 year old at his disposal. Onana has been brilliant for Everton and his presence naturally gives assurance to the Everton midfield.
Central midfield: Abdoulaye Doucoure
Abdoulaye Doucoure’s life has turned 360 degrees since Dyche’s arrival. The Malian looked destined to leave Goodison Park when Frank Lampard was in charge, but since Dyche took over, Doucoure has become an important cog in the system. His presence helps Everton add more bodies in the midfield when there’s pressure and when Everton attack, Docuoure can put his box-to-box qualities to great use.
Right wing: Dwight McNeil
Dyche has managed to extract the best out of Dwight McNeil. McNeil was being adjudged as a transfer flop but his reunion with Dyche seems to have done the trick. Although it is very early days, McNeil is showing his true talent and still has a lot to offer.
Left wing: Alex Iwobi
With Alex Iwobi on the left and McNeil on the right, Demarai Gray will remain on the bench. Iwobi has been terrific for Everton. The Nigerian is exactly what Dyche looks for in his winger – a blend of hardwork, defensive commitment and directness when going forward.
Striker: Ellis Simms
Perhaps, this will be the only change in the lineup. Neal Maupay did not offer much threat going forward and Dyche could revert to Simms. With DCL still out of the team, it will be either Maupay or Simms to start. In this case, Simms should get a nod ahead of the Frenchman as the youngster continues to learn and gain experience.
Will EFC win against Aston Villa?