Aston Villa v Everton
Robbie Keane is expected to make a debut for the 10th club of his somewhat nomadic career on Saturday. The loan signing from LA Galaxy has already played for many teams in the top flight, but his latest move is hoped to give the Villains some much-needed firepower.
His compatriot, Shay Given, is back in contention after the hamstring injury suffered against Manchester United last month. However, the form of Brad Guzan in his absence could keep the Irishman out of the starting XI.
Absentees for Villa include Jermaine Jenas (achilles), Emile Heskey (achilles), Eric Lichaj (hip), while Carlos Cuellar (thigh) is a doubt.
Everton's injury list is still copius, with the possible addition of Sylvain Distin (hamstring) and no return yet for Phil Jagielka (knee), Leon Osman (foot), Jack Rodwell (hamstring), Tony Hibbert (groin), Seamus Coleman (thigh). Youngster Ross Barkley (knee) has also been missing in recent weeks.
Tim Cahill successfully shook off a groin problem to face Tottenham and Shane Duffy could pick up his first league start after an impressive debut from the bench in midweek.
Aston Villa: WLWDL. Bristol Rovers (a), FA Cup, won 3-1; Swansea (h), lost 2-0; Chelsea (a), won 3-1; Stoke (a), drew 0-0; Arsenal (h), lost 2-1.
Everton: LWLWD. Tottenham (a), lost 2-0; Tamworth, FA Cup, won 2-0; Bolton (h), lost 2-1; West Brom (a), won 1-0; Sunderland (a), drew 1-1.
- Cahill and Osman love playing against Villa. Both have scored more goals against the Birmingham side than any other club; Cahill with seven strikes, Osman with five.
- Almost half of all league goals in Everton matches this season have come in the final stages - 45% of those scored by the Toffees have been after the 80th minute mark, with the opposition netting 43% of their tally in the same period.
- Saturday's fixture is the first Everton game that referee Mark Clattenburg has officiated since the Goodison derby in October 2007.
- David Moyes vs Alex McLeish currently stands at one win apiece and five draws in six encounters.
Darren Bent, Aston Villa striker: "Injuries have plagued me so far this season, on and off. But I feel really good now. We've got Everton this weekend on our own patch and we need to make it a fortress."
Phil Neville, speaking after the Tottenham game: "They've not lost too many games and they're in and around the same area that we are, so there's not much to choose between the teams. We've got to make sure we go out there and take the confidence we can from tonight from passing the ball and hopefully the chances we're getting we can turn into goals. Saturday, we need to make sure we get back to winning ways."
The Toffees were desperately unlucky not to bag all three points at Goodison back in September. A first-half strike from Leon Osman and a penalty from Leighton Baines were cancelled out by a stunning strike from Stiliyan Petrov and a late Gabriel Agbonlahor header, respectively. Everton dominated the game, but couldn't beat Shay Given for a third time and Villa nicked a point against the run of play.
Saturday February 26, 2005, Aston Villa 1-3 Everton. Tim Cahill returned from a one-match ban with a huge impact, assisting Leon Osman and bagging a brace himself. Villa responded to Osman's header just after half-time through Nolberto Solano, but Cahill ran the show and put the game beyond the hosts' reach. The victory was the Toffees' first at Villa Park in 18 years.
This week we have an XI of players that have played for both teams. It is a mix of club legends and forgotten men in an adventurous 3-4-3 formation.
In goal, the vintage Harold Morton wears the gloves. Scouted during a match between the British Army and Villa in Germany, he was given permission to leave the service. After seven seasons with the Midlands outfit, he signed for Everton in 1937.
His backline consists of Ken McNaught, part of Villa's successful sides in the early 80s, John Gidman and Premier League stalwart, Richard Dunne.
In the middle of the park we have Warren Aspinall, who had a brief spell at Goodison in 1986, coupled with the steel of Gavin McCann. On the flanks, the versatile Kevin Richardson and flamboyant Frenchman David Ginola.
Lastly, our dangerous front three from different eras. Dave Hickson from the fifties brings a physical presence, coupled with the winning attitude and goal-getting ability of Andy Gray. They are joined by one of Villa's all-time great centre forwards in Tom 'Pongo' Waring, who appeared as a wartime guest player for the Toffees.
Tickets are still currently available and can be purchased here.
Official Betting Partner 188bet have chosen their top five picks of the week:
Everton to win @ 6.85
Everton to win the first half @ 5.70
Everton to win 2-1 @ 17.00 (16/1)
Louis Saha to score first @ 10.00 (9/1)
Landon Donovan to score first @ 13.00 (12/1)