Everton vs Aston Villa preview: Now or never for Villa
Aston Villa's Dutch striker Anwar El Ghazi (L), Aston Villa's English midfielder Jack Grealish (C) and Aston Villa's Scottish midfielder John McGinn (L) celebrate at the end of the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Everton at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on August 23, 2019. - Aston Villa won the game 2-0. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Aston Villa make their way to Merseyside on Thursday night as they take on Everton in a make or break fixture. If there was a time for them to obtain only their third away victory all season, Thursday night would be quintessential. 

The Villains currently sit second-bottom in the league and four points from safety. With just three games left and Arsenal still to play, Villa will require maximum points against the Toffees and West Ham United if they have any chance of survival. 

With only two away victories all season, Dean Smith's side will have to change their ways. For financial reasons alone, his side relies on staying in the top division or else players could be headed out of Villa Park if they return to the Championship. 

Captain, Jack Grealish has been heavily linked with a move out of Villa at the end of the season with Manchester United seemingly the front-runners. Tyrone Mings is another star linked with transfer rumours, with the Toffees supposedly interested. 

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  • Last time out 

The last fixture between these two was just under 11 months ago, where Smith's side gave their fans the first points of their Premier League campaign. 

Wesley Moraes and Anwar El-Ghazi got the goals that night and took the lead early on. Villa smelt blood throughout the remainder of the game and refused to give - what was Marco Silva's side - Everton any space to breathe. 

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  • Team news

Carlo Ancelotti has a few players on the injury list which he puts down to the congested summer schedule. Yerry Mina was forced off against Wolverhampton Wanderers before they conceded three and took a battering on Sunday. 

A boost for Ancelotti is that Mason Holgate is back fit and could see his first start since the Tottenham fixture. 

Smith has similar injuries in his defence as Kortney Hause suffered a blow in the pre-match warm-up against Crystal Palace which shook up their backline. Left-back Neil Taylor was then forced off through injury in the first half. Ezri Konsa came in at centre-back to replace Hause whilst Matt Targett replaced Taylor.

  • Predicted lineups

Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne; Sidibé, Davies, Gomes, Gordon; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.

Aston Villa: Reina; Elmohamady, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Hourihane, Douglas Luiz, McGinn; Trezeguet, Samatta, Grealish.

  • Where to watch

You can watch the game live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 5:30 pm with a 6:00 pm kick-off. 

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