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EVERTON have no room for error in their pursuit of a Champions League place so they will be desperately seeking all three points when Aston Villa come calling on Saturday night.
Carlo Ancelotti’s crew re-entered the top-four conversation with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Arsenal last weekend, on a night where all three of our man Kevin Mac’s bets copped.
That was just the tonic for the Toffees following a five game winless run, not to mention it was Everton’s tenth top-flight triumph on their travels this term.
It’s Everton’s home form that is threatening to derail their chances of European football – the Blues have suffered defeat in 7/15 Premier League matches at their Goodison Park base so far – and they can ill-afford another slip-up against Aston Villa.
Last time out, on Friday night, the Toffees beat Arsenal 1-0 with Richarlison’s tame effort spilt into his own net by Bernd Leno.
Before this, Carlo Ancelotti’s side were winless in five including three draws in a row with Crystal Palace, Brighton and Tottenham.
So, the Blues are currently eighth in the first position that would not be enough for European position.
They’re currently one point behind Spurs, two behind Liverpool and three adrift of West Ham, needing to finish above one of those clubs to get into UEFA competition.
Aston Villa meanwhile, on Christmas day, looked likely to be making an unexpected return to Europe but their downturn in form since New Years’ Day means this will not be happening.
Last Sunday night, the Villans were held to a 2-2 draw by a West Bromwich Albion side who look set for the drop.
Anwar El Ghazi opened the scoring after just nine minutes from the penalty spot before Keinan Davis scored the stoppage time equaliser.
The former Biggleswade Town striker with his first Premier League goal.
This does though mean that Dean Smith’s side have only won two of their last 11 and have slipped into the bottom half.
These two clubs will have to meet again at Villa Park before 23 May after the first meeting was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the Villa training ground.
Will there be a winner in this encounter at Goodison Park?