Must win: Aston Villa at Everton

Not many thought it was possible after West Ham and Watford won and before we played Crystal Palace. Not many think it is possible even now, but if we win tonight, we stand a real chance. And it's because of the matches West Ham and Watford have left.

It all comes down to tonight. This really is a must win game and because of our season and ultimately our goal difference.


So, like last time, I've driven into town, staying at the apartment and I'll be going to the pub. I need to probably explain this, because that sounds strange. I live in the middle of nowhere. The village has one shop and the closest pub is 40 miles away. A taxi home after a few pints is £120 and then you need to spend that again to get back to the car, so it was ultimately cheaper to buy an apartment round the corner from the pub.

So, like Sunday I'll be in the pub and like Sunday, I want to see another performance where we chase every ball down. I want to see us have a go at Everton and make them make mistakes. I want them to give up after 30 minutes because this match ultimately doesn't matter for them and I want them going in at half time thinking about the flight to the beach and wondering why this match even matters.

It's the only way we're going to win. We wont win if we approach this match sitting back. We will only win if we go out with every intention to score five. It's like the Sheffield United manager said, 'old school is the new school'. And in fairness, Leicester and Liverpool have shown us that.

Match facts from the BBC

Head-to-head

  • Everton versus Aston Villa is the most played fixture in English top-flight history, with the Toffees winning 76 of the 203 previous meetings compared to Villa's 74.
  • Villa are looking to secure their first league double over Everton since the 2000-01 season.
  • They are without an away win against Everton in all competitions dating back to a 3-2 victory in December 2008.

Everton

  • Only Liverpool are on a longer unbeaten Premier League home run than Everton's current 10-match streak (W5, D5). It's their most games without defeat at Goodison Park since December 2016.
  • After amassing 17 points in Carlo Ancelotti's first eight games in charge, Everton have taken just nine from as many matches.
  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin had scored eight goals in 11 league games before the enforced break. He's yet to find the net in six matches since the restart and his 15 shots is the most by a top-flight player in that time without scoring.

Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa last won consecutive league games back in October.
  • They have won just three of their past 36 Premier League away fixtures.
  • The Villans have gone 24 games without an away clean sheet in the top flight; only five clubs have ever been on a longer run in the Premier League.
  • Scoring two goals in their win over Crystal Palace was as many as they had managed in their previous eight league matches combined.
  • After not losing more than 17 league matches in any of their first 21 Premier League campaigns, they have lost at least 20 in each of their last four top-flight seasons.