Everton v Aston Villa
David Moyes has no fresh injury concerns. Darron Gibson is in line to make his second appearance since returning from a thigh strain, while Victor Anichebe could again start as a central striker. Seamus Coleman (thigh) and Tony Hibbert (calf) both remain unavailable.
Paul Lambert may be tempted to unleash new signing Simon Dawkins, who joined on loan from Tottenham Hotspur on deadline day. Yacouba Sylla, another midfielder to sign on Thursday, could also be handed his Villa debut. Fabian Delph (ankle) is doubtful, while hopes of a Goodison Park return for defender Richard Dunne have been dashed by a recurring groin problem.
Last outing: 2-1 (h) West Bromwich Albion, 30 January
Last six: WWDDWW
Everton are still to taste defeat in 2013. Following the 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion in midweek, the Blues have taken five points from the last nine available. A win on Saturday will see David Moyes’ men leapfrog Spurs in the league table, although the Londoners would regain fourth spot should they beat West Brom themselves on Sunday.
Last outing: 1-2 (h) Newcastle United, 29 January
Last six: LLDWLL
Aston Villa have won just once in the Premier League since the end of November – a surprise 3-1 victory at our neighbours Liverpool on 15 December. Christian Benteke hit a double that afternoon and, indeed, the Belgium striker is the club’s top scorer this season with 12 goals. The Villans’ goal difference currently stands at minus 26 and it has been eight matches since Paul Lambert’s side last kept a clean sheet.
1. Everton are looking for their first league win over Aston Villa at Goodison Park since March 2006. The Midlanders are unbeaten on their last six Premier League trips to the Blue half of Merseyside.
2. Phil Neville will reach 300 Everton appearances should he play on Saturday. Likewise, Marouane Fellaini will make his 150th start for the club.
3. Whoever scores first for the Blues against Aston Villa will have the honour of netting the 700th goal of the David Moyes era. The first, of course, was netted by David Unsworth just 27 seconds into the Scot’s Goodison reign.
Aston Villa 1-3 Everton, 25 August 2012. Everton’s first away victory of the campaign came at Villa Park in August – one of six home defeats suffered by Lambert’s side this season. The damage was done in the first half as goals from Steven Pienaar, Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic had the Blues three up at the break. Karim El Ahmadi pulled one back in the second half but the Moroccan’s strike proved nothing more than a consolation.
Everton 4-1 Aston Villa, 18 March 2006. Everton had already won five successive home matches when David O’Leary’s Aston Villa visited Goodison Park in the latter part of the 2005/06 campaign. That sequence was easily extended as goals from James McFadden, Tim Cahill (2) and Leon Osman ensured a comfortable victory. Villa’s solitary goal came from the boot of Gabriel Agbonlahor, who beat Richard Wright from a tight angle. Watch highlights of that game here.
Saturday’s fixture will be the third time Everton have played on this date under David Moyes. The previous two occasions have brought a 1-0 home win over Norwich City in 2005 and a goalless stalemate at Ewood Park in 2008. One notable result achieved on February 2 was in 1985 when the Blues defeated Watford 4-0 at home, with goals from Kevin Sheedy, Trevor Steven and two from Gary Stevens.
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 Villans in the period before the start of 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 Park (though it was 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 representing a formidable partnership in attack.
Referee: M Jones
Assistant Referee: M Mullarkey
Assistant Referee: M Wilkes
Fourth Official: A Taylor
Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available. To reserve your seat over the phone call 0871 663 1878* or to purchase online, click here. Supporters can also buy in person at the Park End box office and don't forget tickets are now available from city centre sales points in Everton Two and Ticket Quarter in Queen Square.
Our official online betting partner Paddy Power are offering a range of odds on Saturday’s game. Here's a section of the best:
Everton to win: 2/5
Everton to win 2-1: 13/2
Victor Anichebe to score the only goal of the game: 25/1
Steven Pienaar to score first and Everton to win 3-0: 60/1
Villa half-time/Everton full-time: 20/1