Everton v Aston Villa – Match Preview

The deadline-day sales have caused discontent in the blue half of Merseyside and the unwillingness to strengthen has left the squad looking thread-bare. After their opening day clash against Tottenham was postponed, Everton suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to QPR at Goodison Park, before they survived two Blackburn penalties misses as the soon-to-be departed Arteta sealed all three points with a penalty of his own.

Villa have once again added to their squad bringing in Tottenham pair Jermaine Jenas and Alan Hutton before the window shut last week and both could feature in the game. Villa fans will be hoping that Darren Bent who is a doubt after missing England’s Euro 2012 qualifiers with a groin-strain is able to start.

Everton’s attacking stocks are also depleted after the deadline-day sales of Beckford and Yakubu, while Louis Saha is another fitness concerns. They have added Real Madrid’s midfielder Royston Drenthe and Argentine forward Denis Stracqualursi to their squad, with both expected to make their debuts on Saturday but Leighton Baines is a doubt with a hamstring injury while Seamus Coleman is still ruled out with a long-term injury.

Alex McLeish has got his Villa side playing some great football to start the season and they have already picked up five points from a possible nine. I think they could continue this fine start on Saturday against an under-strength Everton team who will be low on confidence piling more pressure on Kenwright and the Everton owners to bring in some loan players.

Key Player

Tim Cahill: After losing a number of their attacking outlets on deadline day Cahill will now have the big task of stepping up for the team to give them some sort of threat up-front.

Richard Dunne: Dunne who was so impressive for his national team in mid-week and he is enjoying a fresh-start under McLeish, he will be an important player if Villa want to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

Verdict: 0-1

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