Aston Villa - Everton Preview: Toffees hoping to rediscover their rhythm at Villa Park

Roberto Martinez's side travel to the Premier League's bottom club refreshed having not had a game at the weekend, while Remi Garde's side face the task of taking on the Blues having won just three league games all season.

Aston Villa - Everton Preview: Toffees hoping to rediscover their rhythm at Villa Park
Everton take on Aston Villa at 19:45 (GMT) on Tuesday 1 March. (Image: Getty Images)

It will have been 10 days since Everton faced Bournemouth in the FA Cup and 17 days since their last Premier League encounter, but Roberto Martinez will be hoping his side can rediscover their rhythm against the bottom club Aston Villa on Tuesday evening.

Everton travel to Villa Park refreshed having not had a game at the weekend, while Remi Garde's side face the task of taking on the Toffees having won just three Premier League games all season.

Head-to-head

Aston Villa may have won 18 Premier League games against Everton, more than they have against any other side, but the Villains’ only win in the 10 most recent fixtures was a 3-2 home victory in May last season.

The Toffees will be hoping for a similar performance and result to the one that saw them triumph 4-0 in the reverse fixture in October, thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley at Goodison Park.

Romelu Lukaku scores his second and Everton's fourth in the reverse fixture in October. | Image: Telegraph
Romelu Lukaku scores his second and Everton's fourth in the reverse fixture in October. | Image: Telegraph

Everton hard to beat away from home

Everton enjoyed a weekend off due to their Merseyside derby date with Liverpool being postponed with the Reds in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday. The Toffees took the opportunity to travel to Dubai for a warm weather training camp and Roberto Martinez saw the break as a boost ahead of the last few months of the season.

The Toffees will also be in high spirits following the weekend's news that Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri has purchased a 49.9% stake in the club, supplying the financial backing Everton have sought for over a decade. The news has been greeted with lots of optimism amongst Everton supporters and Roberto Martinez will be eager for his side to build on this on the pitch.

Martinez will be hoping his side can build on their 2-0 win over Bournemouth in the FA Cup fifth round and return to winning ways in the league. Their last league outing did not go to plan as they suffered a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion, despite dominating possession and having 34 shots.

The defeat to Tony Pulis' side was their sixth home defeat of the season and their poor home form is a key part in why inconsistency has plagued Everton's season. In contrast, the Toffees have been hard to beat away from home, losing just one of their last 13 away league games.

Although Everton find themselves 12th in the table, a few victories could see them rise up the table, with the Toffees five points off seventh spot and with a game in hand.

The opposition

Even the most dedicated Aston Villa supporters must be accepting that the team look set for the Championship next season. The Midlands club have won just three of their 27 Premier League games and find themselves eight points adrift of safety.

Wins over fellow bottom half sides Crystal Palace and Norwich City have not been built upon and back-to-back defeats; a 6-0 mauling by Liverpool and a 2-1 defeat to Stoke City at the weekend have further dented their already fragile morale and leaves the Villains with a mountain to climb to stay in the top-flight.

Similar to Everton, Aston Villa have struggled at home this season having taken just 10 points from 13 games at Villa Park this season and have only won 19 of their last 83 league games at home since December 2011.

Remi Garde's men will certainly not be overly enthused about another meeting with Lukaku. Although the Belgian has scored just once in his last five league matches, he has scored five times in his last four league appearances against Villa and will be looking to add to his 16 Premier League goals this season.

Aston Villa players look dejected after another defeat. | Image: Birmingham Mail
Aston Villa players look dejected after another defeat. | Image: Birmingham Mail

Team news

Roberto Martinez will have a near full strength squad to pick from on Tuesday evening. Forward Arouna Kone is back in contention after illness, while John Stones could play for the first time in a month after overcoming a hamstring problem.

However, midfielder Muhamed Besic will not be involved after failing to recover from a hamstring strain but Martinez hopes to have him back in the squad for their weekend clash against West Ham United.

Aston Villa forward Jordan Ayew is available after serving a three-match suspension, but Remi Garde will be without the injured Jack Grealish, Carlos Sanchez, Libor Kozak, Adama Traore and Jordan Amavi.