As the Premier League draws to a close on a crazy 2020 season, there are still some important games to be played. On Thursday, Aston Villa visits Goodison Park to battle Everton, in a match that could well decide their relegation prospects this campaign.
Realistically, Dean Smith’s side has to understand that a victory is needed if they are to avoid the drop, just one year after coming up from the Championship. After turning in a solid outing over the weekend against Crystal Palace, Aston Villa are now just four points from safety. With a few weeks remaining, a win is a necessity.
But it won’t be easy against an in-form and still motivated Everton side. Carlo Ancelotti has improved the plight of this franchise, and though there is nothing really on the line for the Toffees, coming off a 3-0 defeat to Wolves, Everton are definitely looking to bounce back. Everton are also undefeated in their past ten home contests, and will look to keep that solid form going, while also delivering a crucial blow to Aston Villa.
With all the desperation from Villa and the style they’ll need to play, this matchup is surely one to watch this gameweek. Can Villa continue their final push for safety? Or will an angry Everton side play to their potential and send Villa down to the Championship for next season? One thing is for certain, it will be intriguing. Keep reading on beneath the odds for a matchup breakdown, tactical analysis, and betting prediction for Everton vs. Aston Villa.
Everton vs. Aston Villa Betting Odds:
Aston Villa (+240)
Over 2.5 (-109)
Under 2.5 (-111)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Everton vs. Aston Villa Pick:
Everton are an entirely different side away from Goodison Park, and fortunately for them, they’ll be home on Thursday evening. Almost all of their poor performances have come away from home, though many of them have been quite unlucky.
In fact, over the course of the season, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many clubs in Europe that have been unluckier than the Toffees this season. Their expected goal totals are much better than their record would indicate, and that’s especially true when they’re on their home soil.
Though Everton enters with some questions at the back in this contest, anticipate a wide-open clash, one in which Aston Villa will need to push the face forward. A draw likely does them no good, and they’ll need to push for a victory.
While this could challenge Everton’s banged-up backline, it more likely will force Aston Villa into situations where they are caught out on the break and are left vulnerable to counter-attacks. Everton have some lethal attacking skill in their lineup, and they should be able to put some goals past the league’s worst defense in Villa.
Though Dean Smith’s side have shown some improvements over their past few contests, they’ve been feasting on poor sides with little to play for. And though Everton too has little to play for, they remain a top-quality side, one in which will play a strong lineup on Thursday.
Expect Villa to control the bulk of possession early and be very aggressive with putting balls into the box, making runs, and taking chances forward. They have some impressive skill, led by captain Jack Grealish – but beyond that, their depth significantly falls off. They’ll struggle in the midfield with Everton, and their back-line remains suspect. Everton’s duo of Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison will be prowling, and Villa should concede easily.
Pick: Everton 3-1