The recently shuttered transfer window was not especially kind to either Aston Villa or Everton. Villa's transfer activity won't be a surprise to anyone here; some very good players were brought in but not enough to offset the number of very good players lost. The amount of money reinvested in the squad pales in comparison to the amount brought in from the sale of players and the determination of the board to bring the wage budget down was a huge blow to the squad's depth. Deadline day was a disappointment to most.
For Everton, the losses weren't as severe; Mikel Arteta is a wonderful player that will be difficult to replace, but Arsenal made an offer that the Toffees would have been hard pressed to refuse. Jermaine Beckford and Yakubu were both disappointing to varying degrees. In terms of players coming in, Everton has recruited some very nice talent, but it's young and on loan. In short, these are two sides in somewhat similar positions; a run towards the Champions League has been cut short, no oil money is forthcoming, austerity is the order of the day.
So, that leaves us with the teams as currently comprised. Despite losing some pretty key players, these are still two very decent teams. Everton boast a very good back line and an immensely promising midfield, and though they have a serious deficit in terms of strikers their strengths are fairly imposing, especially in playing as the home side. Yes, Villa has moved on to the next generation after selling Ashley Young and Stewart Downing, but Everton is well on their road towards the next generation with Maraoune Fellaini, Leighton Baines and hell, who knows, maybe Jack Rodwell anchoring the side. I mean, really, why the hell has Jack Rodwell only played one game this year?
I mean, hell. Who knows what to expect. These two team have some serious differences, but they've got a fair bit more similarities. And we'll probably see some MLeish-iness. Let's just hope for Bannan and Heskey as a sun and balls on the ground and oh god please don't let me go back to sleep.
PS: The headline is open to your own interpretation, but if you're wearing blue you probably shouldn't be offended.