Everton are searching for their third home win in a row as they welcome Aston Villa to Goodison Park.

Sean Dyche has revitalised the side since arriving on Merseyside at the end of January, winning his first two home matches in charge against Arsenal and Leeds United.

The Villains have undergone their own turnaround under new management since Unai Emery took the job in October, sitting pretty in 11th place.

It promises to be a good game and another opportunity for the Toffees to indicate their survival intentions.


Everton’s blunt attack

The Blues have undoubtedly become a much more defensively solid outfit under Dyche but scoring goals continues to be a minor issue.

It took a Seamus Coleman goal out of nowhere to defeat Leeds last weekend while in the former Burnley man’s first match in charge, James Tarkowski’s header from a corner proved the difference against the Gunners.

Everton will still be without their best source of goals against Villa in the form of Dominic Calvert-Lewin who remains out on the sidelines after an injury sustained against Arsenal.

Therefore, the Toffees will have to find other avenues to score against Emery’s outfit.


One to watch – Jordan Pickford

(Photo Credit – Chesterton/Sports Press)

Evertonians have been buoyed in the week by the news that Jordan Pickford has signed a new long-term deal with the club.

The England goalkeeper will remain at the club until the summer of 2027 and a further positive from Everton’s perspective is there is no relegation release clause included as part of the deal.

As a result, he will likely receive an incredibly warm reception from the Goodison faithful when they take on Aston Villa.

It could be the case that a strong performance from the 28-year-old in between the sticks could be the difference against the West Midlands outfit.


One to watch – Ollie Watkins

Ollie Watkins looks to have rediscovered his goalscoring touch just in time for his side’s trip to Goodison Park.

The 27-year-old has scored in all of his last four matches, including opening the scoring in his side’s 4-2 defeat against Arsenal last weekend.

The former Brentford striker is a constant nuisance to any defence with his relentless pressing and the Everton backline will undoubtedly have their work cut out keeping him quiet once again.


Final thoughts

The Blues look a different beast at home under Dyche’s stewardship, hardly giving Leeds a sniff last Saturday.

Aston Villa have lost their last three matches and therefore, confidence will not be high going into their clash with the Toffees.

It could well be that Everton end up bolstering their survival bid even further against the Villains.

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