The first game of the new season at Villa Park sees Aston Villa and Everton meet for the 227th time. This version of the encounter sees both sides looking to get their first points of the season following first day defeats to Bournemouth and Chelsea respectively.
Steven Gerrard has already faced criticism from certain sections of the Villa faithful following a disappointing, flat performance against the newly promoted Cherries. A lack of creativity going forward and defensive naivety has resulted in negative backlash on social media. This combined with the questions about Tyrone Mings and Gerrard's comments about his former captain, Villa have been presented with issues that they need to bounce back fast from.
Some pieces of the puzzle seem to be falling into place for Frank Lampard in the transfer market after confirming signings of Conor Coady and Amadou Onana this week. These additions can hopefully help the Toffees turn close fought games like Chelsea last week into draws and wins for Lampard.
Following Dominic Calvert-Lewin's training injury pre-Chelsea, Everton have been left without a striker which has created questions over where goals will come from. There is creativity in their midfield with Dwight McNeil, Demarai Gray and Dele Alli, so there is hope they can score goals even without their target man up top.
Tyrone Mings is the only injury concern for Gerrard, with the England international suffering a slight groin strain in training. After the performance last time out, it is likely that changes will be seen, mainly in the midfield which lacked any true threat at the Vitality Stadium last week.
It's a different story for Lampard who has up to six players out with injury. Andre Gomes, Andros Townsend, Tom Davies and Calvert-Lewin are all likely to be still be out as they were for the last game. Both Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey will miss the match at Villa Park through injury, with the latter suffering a potential broken ankle against the Blues ruling him out potentially until Christmas. Mina also suffered an ankle injury, but one that should see him out for weeks rather than months.
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Carlos, Digne; Kamara, Luiz, McGinn; Bailey, Coutinho, Watkins
Pickford; Patterson, Holgate, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Doucoure, Iwobi; McNeil, Gray, Gordon
There were no standouts in a positive sense for the Villains last week so fans can live in hope of a better showing this week. For that to be possible, Leon Bailey needs to show what he did in pre-season, and what he showed against the Toffees on his debut a year ago. Philippe Coutinho will also want to get up and running for the season after a quiet game, based on his standards, last time out. Against another side playing a back five, the Brazilian number ten will have to be on his best form to breach their defense.
Without an out and out striker, keeping out the home side and keeping a clean sheet will be a very important factor if Everton are to come away with anything from the Midlands. James Tarkowski made his debut against Chelsea and impressed the Toffees fans with his defensive exploits. Following years of forever changing central defensive pairings, Tarkowski could be a stalwart in Mersyside for years to come.
Where is the Game Being Played?
What Time is Kick-Off?
The game has been moved to a 12:30pm kick off as a result of being changed for TV purposes.
How Can I Watch?
The game is on BT Sport with their coverage starting at 11:30am on channel, BT Sport 1.