Everton today, Mings and Buendia, match facts and the manager

When I was a lad and it was such a long time ago, this might be a memory I've created, but I don't think they used to publish the League table until six games in. Did that really happen? If it did and I believe they did, it was because they knew that it didn't really matter so early in the season.

Today however is a big day for Steven Gerrard because the media have made it a big day. Let me say as clearly as I can, the result today doesn't matter.

Sure, we want to win and I hope we do. But if we lose, it doesn't mean Steve Gerrard is a bad manager. And it's actually quite sad that I need to write that and it's even sadder that the media have made it this way. And part of that blame is on the media department at our Club too. But it's also every other Club too.

But I think we'll win today. As the manager says in the video today MIngs and Buendia are available for selection today and I expect both of them to start because I expected them both to start last weekend if they didn't have niggles.

I also expect a full stadium and lots of support. I hope to start seeing something that looks like we have a set style of football that begins to create an identity under Steven Gerrard. But all that said, I have butterflies.

I have butterflies because I'm worried that there is too much "analysis" done on individual matches and individual performances and not enough emphasis put on creating that identity for Aston Villa. This requires more that just a paragraph and I'll get to this one day soon, but what I mean by it is we need to have our own style and our own approach and our own way of playing, where teams adapt to us and we don't adapt to them.

That said, I'm up early and I have to get going. I'm heading to Stockholm this morning so if anyone has any ideas on where I can watch the game, let me know please, otherwise it will be the hotel bedroom.

Match facts from the BBC


  • This is the most-played fixture in English top-flight history, with the sides having met 208 times. Aston Villa lead by 77 wins to Everton's 76, with 55 draws.
  • Everton are the only side who Villa are unbeaten against in all three seasons since returning to the Premier League (W4, D2).
  • The most recent of Everton's four Premier League away wins in 27 attempts against Villa was by 3-1 in March 2016 (D9, L14).

Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa have lost seven of their past 12 Premier League games, winning only twice during that period.
  • They have also won just two of their past 11 home league matches under Steven Gerrard (D4, L5).
  • Villa have won their opening Premier League home fixture without conceding in each of the past two seasons.
  • Philippe Coutinho has scored one goal and not provided any assists in his last 12 Premier League games, including 10 starts.
  • Lucas Digne made 127 competitive appearances for Everton before joining Aston Villa in January 2022.


  • Everton are unbeaten in their opening Premier League away match in each of the past 11 seasons since a 1-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers in 2010-11 (W5, D6).
  • However, they earned just 10 points out of a possible 57 away from home last season, the joint-worst record in the division alongside relegated Norwich.
  • The Toffees have only once lost their opening two fixtures of a Premier League campaign, in 2009-10.
  • They could fail to score in their first two league matches of a season for the first time since 1998-99.

The manager