Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Back in the Premier League after a three-season stint in the Championship, Aston Villa have not disgraced themselves in their first couple of games, but the fact remains that they are currently without a point. Having lost at Tottenham and again at home to Bournemouth, they face a tough assignment this weekend with the visit of Everton, whose defence is yet to be breached after 180 minutes of football.
These were two of the more active sides in the summer transfer window, with both spending big to acquire promising young strikers. Villa’s spending spree included £22million on Brazilian Wesley Moraes, who is yet to get off the mark scoring-wise but looks to be a target man with genuine potential. Everton fans, meanwhile, have not seen much of Moise Kean, acquired from Juventus and considered to be a star of the future – but the 19-year-old could start here.
Aston Villa vs Everton Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Everton
Villa’s opening-weekend assignment was one of the hardest possible, taking them to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and yet they took an early lead which they held until the 73rd minute against the Champions League finalists. There’s no disputing their attacking potential, something boss Dean Smith has been insistent about building. Worryingly, though, last weekend’s loss against Bournemouth added to a persistent sense that Villa have a soft centre; something that Marco Silva will be assiduous about exploiting, and he has a growing collection of players capable of doing just that.
Our recommended tip: Everton win
There is a feeling that Everton are just a step away from being a side that can mix it with the chasing pack just behind the top three; not a potential title-winner, but certainly capable of getting in among the Arsenals and Chelseas of the world. That’s been the case for a while, but they’ve always had a tendency to blow hot and cold. However, Silva’s approach has brought greater consistency, and the tendency to lose winnable games is less of a factor now than it has been in years. Aston Villa are vulnerable, and the Toffees are more than capable of making Unibet’s 13/10 odds look very generous indeed here.
Much has changed since these sides met in March 2016. Everton’s manager that day, Roberto Martinez, now coaches Belgium and got his side to the cusp of a World Cup final last year. Then-Villa boss Remi Garde has just been canned by MLS’s Montreal Impact. Clues to those future career paths were visible in that match three years ago, when a limp Villa side, by then almost sure of relegation, fell 3-0 behind within an hour of play – goals from Funes Mori, Lennon and Lukaku. A 79th-minute consolation was grabbed by Rudy Gestede. Everton have improved since that day; Villa need to prove that they have, too.
Top 3 Premier League Bookies
Players to watch: John McGinn & Moise Kean
24-year-old Glaswegian McGinn moved to the West Midlands from Hibs just last summer, and took the step so much in his stride that he became an indispensable part of the Villains’ promotion campaign. Evidently, he convinced enough people of his abilities, given that Manchester United were linked with a move for him during the summer transfer window. A hard-working midfield runner, McGinn has the happy knack of scoring important goals, often spectacularly, and he’ll be essential to Villa’s hopes here.
Making the move from Serie A’s champions to the side who finished eighth in England shows that Moise Kean is not scared of a challenge, and at 19 he has plenty of time to develop into a striker that Everton can build a side around. Development aside, he’s already pretty good; a player with pace and strength, power and accuracy in his finishing, and the versatility to play in any forward position. Everton have found themselves a potential gem for a £27million fee; if he matches his potential, that will be a bargain.