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v Swansea City

Tuesday 23 September K.O. 19:45



Villa Park | 26th October 2013 15:00 | Attendance - 35154

Aston Villa v Everton

Roberto Martinez has a near full squad to choose from for Everton's game at Aston Villa on Saturday - though defender John Heitinga remains a doubt after missing last weekend's 2-1 win over Hull.

The Dutchman sat out the visit of the Tigers due to a muscle problem and is rated only "50/50" to make the trip to the Midlands.

Steven Pienaar, scorer of Everton's second-half winner at Goodison, is again available for selection and could be set to make his first start since the goalless draw at Cardiff City at the end of August.

Steven PienaarSteven Pienaar could make his first start since the end of August on Saturday.

Darron Gibson (knee) and Antolin Alcaraz (hamstring) both remain sidelined, though Martinez expects the latter to be fit following the international break in the middle of next month.

"We're really strong," said Martinez on Thursday. "It's been great to see Steven Pienaar back and fully fit.

"Antolin Alcaraz is progressing really well and I expect him to be back after the next international break.

"Johnny Heitinga has picked up a little bit of a soft tissue problem in training, so he'll be 50/50 for the weekend.

"But, apart from that, we're looking good."


Villa began the season with an impressive 3-1 win away at Arsenal but it's been a mixed bag since then as they endured a tricky run of fixtures.

Tottenham, Liverpool and Newcastle have all won at Villa Park but Paul Lambert's men did manage an eye-catching 3-2 win over Manchester City on home soil.

Andreas Weimann celebrates netting Villa's win against Manchester City last month.Andreas Weimann celebrates after netting Villa's winner against Manchester City last month.

They haven't scored in their two games since then though, with their last outing the aforementioned 2-0 defeat to Spurs.

Everton have lost just once in the league and reiterated their good progress under former Villa target Roberto Martinez with a 2-1 win over Hull City last time out.

The Toffees have won away at West Ham already this term but did lose out 3-1 to Manchester City last time they were on their travels.

Last Meeting

Last time the two sides met it was a 3-3 thriller at Goodison Park in February.

At the time, the Blues were fancied for the win against the relegation-threatened Midlands outfit, but the dangerous Christian Benteke put the cat among the pigeons with a second-minute strike.

Nikica Jelavic puts the Blues 3-0 up before half time.Nikica Jelavic put the Blues 3-0 up before half time at Villa Park last season.

Victor Anichebe equalised for Everton, but straight away Gabby Agbonlahor restored the visitors' lead, with Benteke then making it 3-1 in the second half.

But Marouane Fellaini struck twice - the latter in the last minute - to salvage a point.

Everton fans will have fonder memories of their last game at Villa Park, when the Blues won 3-1 early in the 2012/13 campaign.

On that occasion, a wonderstrike from Steven Pienaar, plus goals from Nikica Jelavic and Fellaini, had the Toffees out of sight by half time.



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