Aston Villa v Everton
New signing Kevin Mirallas is available to make his Everton debut after watching the 1-0 win over Manchester United from the stands. Darron Gibson and Marouane Fellaini were both doubts before the clash, but started and appeared to emerge from the victory unscathed.
Villa boss Paul Lambert has bolstered his squad with four new signings since his arrival from Norwich earlier in the summer. Australian winger Brett Holman joined on a free transfer from AZ Alkmaar, midfielder Karim El Ahmadi and Dutch international centre back Ron Vlaar arrived from Feyenoord, while promising young right-back Matthew Lowton made the switch from Sheffield United.
Defender Richard Dunne (groin) and forward Gabby Agbonlahor (knee) are likely to miss out.
After a mixed pre-season, Everton head into the clash on a high after the morale-boosting 1-0 victory over United.
Villa’s Premier League campaign got off to a disappointing start at Upton Park after a Kevin Nolan strike sealed a 1-0 win for West Ham. The Villains’ pre-season campaign began with a steady 2-1 win over Burton Albion and there were also victories over Philadelphia Union, Chicago Fire, Portland Timbers and Peterborough United.
1) If the Blues score on Saturday, it will mark their 300th league goal against Villa.
2) There have been 194 league meetings between the two sides, making it the most played fixture in English football history. All games have been in the top-flight and Villa currently lead 72-70 in victories.
3) Darron Gibson has not been on the losing side for 28 Premier League games – 16 with Manchester United and 12 since joining Everton. The midfielder’s unbeaten run stretches back to April 2010.
For plenty more stats ahead of the game, read our new ‘Magic Numbers’ feature by clicking here.
Aston Villa 1-1 Everton, 14 January 2012. Victor Anichebe’s strike helped Everton come from behind to earn a point at Villa Park. The Blues’ were 1-0 down to a Darren Bent goal early in the second half, but with 20 minutes remaining substitute Anichebe was played through on goal by Landon Donovan and slotted home to level the scores.
Everton 3-1 Aston Villa, 15 February 2009. Jack Rodwell, Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill sealed Everton’s passage into the FA Cup quarter-finals. Rodwell fired home his first senior goal from close range after just three minutes, before Villa briefly got back on level terms through a James Milner penalty. Shortly afterwards, however, Arteta put the Blues back in front from the spot and Tim Cahill added a third late on to seal a comfortable win as Wembley drew one step closer.
On 25 August 1999, goals from David Unsworth, Nick Barmby, Francis Jeffers and Kevin Campbell sealed a 4-0 over Wimbledon at Goodison Park.
With Everton and Villa being the only clubs to have played over a century of seasons in the English top-flight, there is plenty of history between the two.
Many players have worn the jersey for both over the years and here’s a full XI to have done so.
Kicking things off, Harry Morton takes the gloves, having played in goal for the Blues and the Villains before the Second World War.
At the back, Everton Academy graduate Richard Dunne joins Carl Tiler and Steve Watson, while two-time Blue David Unsworth came back to the Club from Villa but without playing a single game for them after the fiasco of his move from West Ham.
Gavin McCann, Kevin Richardson, Warren Aspinall and David Ginola comprise the midfield with Dave Hickson and Andy Gray a formidable striking partnership.
Referee: Mr M Oliver
Assistant Referee: Mr R West
Assistant Referee: Mr M Scholes
Fourth Official: Mr P Tierney
Our allocation of 2,930 tickets for this game has sold out.
Our official online betting partner Paddy Power are offering a range of odds on Saturday’s game. Here's our pick of the best:
Everton to win: 6/4
Marouane Fellaini to score first: 9/1
Fellaini to score a hat-trick: 125/1
Aston Villa 1-1 Everton: 5/1
Aston Villa 2-2 Everton: 13/1