Everton had more than 75 percent of the ball against Crystal Palace, yet they lost 3-2. Paul Lambert's Aston Villa may be able to take a page out of the Londoners' books and take at least a point against the Toffees this Saturday at Goodison Park.
While Everton are a side that will finish around the middle of the top this season, they haven't hit top form yet. They also have injuries and inconsistency throughout the team, but notably at the back. In addition to star midfielder Ross Barkley's injury, fellow budding young English talent John Stones will miss the match too. Seamus Coleman, Steven Pienaar, Sylvan Distin, and James McCarthy are all doubts for this match. Arouna Kone and Kevin Mirallas will also miss.
This means Villa have a chance. If Ron Vlaar can start, Villa's defence will be more solid than it has been in the absence of the captain. Without Vlaar, Villa have won just 3 of 20 matches. Christian Benteke should start as well. Injury wise, Philippe Senderos will be out, but Nathan Baker or possibly even Jores Okore will play at centre back as Lambert looks likely to stay with 4-2-3-1.
Last year, Villa showed that they didn't need possession to beat teams like Southampton. Last December's match at St. Mary's finished 3-2 in favour of the visitors, despite the Saints having over 70 percent of the ball. This year, Villa held on for a 1-0 win against Liverpool with a similar amount of the ball.
They will look to employ a similar style against Everton who will be happy to keep the ball in Roberto Martinez's continental style attack. With Benteke back, long balls from Brad Guzan will be more effective than they have been so far this season. His aerial presence should lead to a goal at some point.
Here's how the two teams may line up (both 4-2-3-1):
Who do you think Lambert should start? Let us know in the comments!
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