Aston Villa and Everton both lost their opening matches of the Premier League season and the pair may have to settle for a share of the spoils when they meet at Villa Park on Sunday (14:00 kick-off).
Villa (4/6) head into this home contest off the back of a 5-1 humbling at the hands of Newcastle United, that defeat at St James’ Park made worse by the knee injury picked up by captain Tyrone Mings that will see him sidelined for a long period.
Manager Unai Emery has a growing injury list to contend with and the club are making a concerted effort to bring in reinforcements before the summer transfer window closes.
As for Everton (4/1), they failed to take their chances at Goodison Park on opening weekend as they went down 1-0 to Fulham, who only had two shots on target compared to the Toffees’ nine. The Draw is 11/4.
Villa skipper Mings picked up a serious knee injury in the defeat at Newcastle, and he joins Emi Buendia on the long-term absentee list.
Jacob Ramsey and Alex Moreno are both still a couple of weeks away from returning, while Jhon Duran and Bertrand Traore are back in training but neither are fully fit.
Leon Bailey is a doubt after being substituted at St James’ Park with a lower back issue and Leander Dendoncker is being assessed due to a muscular injury.
Everton could welcome back Dominic Calvert-Lewin into the fold after he completed 90 minutes in a midweek friendly, but Jack Harrison is out with a hip problem and Youssef Chermiti is lacking match fitness.
Arnaut Danjuma is not yet ready to feature, Andre Gomes is struggling with a calf issue and Dwight McNeil is still a few weeks away from returning because of an ankle problem.
Draw and Both Teams to Score – 4/1
Travelling to Newcastle on the opening day was always going to be a tough assignment for Villa and losing captain Mings so early in that contest did the team no favours.
Emery has had a chance to take stock since that defeat and he will be hoping a return to Villa Park will bring about an improvement from his side, as they have won their last seven home Premier League fixtures.
The Villans have scored 14 goals across those victories and they only failed to find the back of the net twice in their own backyard in the top flight last term – against West Ham and Chelsea.
Scoring against an Everton side that has kept just one clean sheet from their last seven PL encounters shouldn’t be an issue, but stopping the Toffees from getting on the score sheet could be a problem.
Everton have scored eight times in their last three away league games, five of those coming against Brighton, and a large chunk of their better form came on the road last season.
Sean Dyche’s side have only lost one of their last seven away Premier League encounters, that coming at Manchester United, with five of those fixtures ending in draws.
It would be no surprise to see Villa and Everton play out a score draw this weekend.
Moussa Diaby to Score or Assist – EVS
One positive to come out of Villa’s defeat on Tyneside was the performance of summer arrival Moussa Diaby, who had got his side back on parity with the Magpies for a small period of the game.
The 24-year-old, who joined from Bayer Leverkusen, had a further two attempts and one more on target against the Magpies and he was a livewire before being substituted in the closing minutes.
His desire to run at defenders and get in behind should make him a constant threat this season and Diaby, who had a leading eight Bundesliga assists for Leverkusen last season, provides real value at EVS to score or assist against Everton.