A month or so ago, we might have rubbed our hands together at a trip to Goodison.
However, with the arrival of Sean Dyche for the hosts and the dissipation of Villa’s form more recently, this is now a less than appealing trip.
Emery, visibly disappointed at the defeat against Arsenal last weekend, now seeks to arrest a sudden downturn in fortunes. The cliched ‘honeymoon period’ is over, as the season enters a crucial period.
Will Villa rebound and threaten to break into the top half of the division? Or might the season simply fizzle out into mid-table obscurity? Worse yet, might we unnecessarily flirt with an outside threat of relegation? The latter seems unlikely, but we dare not be too casual about it either.Embed from Getty Images
The obvious and glaring issues ultimately remain. Villa simply need to address a leakiness at the back. Individual errors, lapses in concentration and the adoption of a new style of play have hurt us badly of late.
Everton are in no way prolific, but with unforced errors in defence now our newfound hobby, we mustn’t present Dyche’s side with freebies. Villa need to stop gifting teams goals; it’s as simple as that. We should certainly not put them on a plate for an opponent desperately fighting for survival.
Everton are a markedly different proposition than Arsenal, and it will be intriguing to see what offensive set-up is deployed. Duran is lively but raw. Bailey remains an enigma. Watkins remains in good form, with tireless energy and goals reminding everyone of his true worth. The former Brentford striker goes into the fixture in search of a fifth consecutive goal.
Emery will also be hopeful that the eye-catching combination of Coutinho, Buendia and Moreno might re-create the kind of inter-play that unlocked Arteta’s side early on. Whether this will be a fixture for flair remains to be seen.
Villa’s football and style under Emery is still in it’s infancy, and there are clearly promising signs. However, sometimes the game calls for an uncompromising and straightforward approach in order to counter what we will in all likelihood face on Saturday afternoon.
It doesn’t always need to be pretty or perfect, as Villa seek to get back to winning ways again.Embed from Getty Images
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin remains out injured for Everton and won’t play.
- Diego Carlos is back training but isn’t ready for Villa.
- Dyche has won both of his home games as Everton boss.
- Villa are on a run of 3 defeats, conceding 11 goals in that time.
- Victory could see Villa close the 3 point gap to Chelsea in 10th.
This could be a battling display from the home side who have looked far more organised under Dyche. However, their issues in terms of quality and consistency still remain, as does Villa’s threat going forward. If Villa can be more solid at the back and clinical in the final third, I think we will edge it (0-1).Embed from Getty Images