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Everton vs Aston Villa – Preview: A Tough Test for Villa?

It is that stage of the season where teams are meeting for the second time, which leads to a deeper sense of familiarity and clearer understanding of their positions and goals. The previous matches between Everton and Aston Villa, where Villa scored four goals against Everton, and the EFL Cup elimination, where Everton emerged as the winner, did not predict Everton facing point deductions or Aston Villa emerging as current title contenders.

As both teams cross paths again, they find themselves at opposite ends of the spectrum, competing vigorously for the remaining glory this season. The question persists: which team possesses the necessary qualities to clinch victory?

Analyzing Both sides tactically this season: What sets them apart?



Pic 1, 2: Villa’s In and out of possession shapes

Villa are quintessentially a versatile side. They are the kind of team that can play your own game against you, and it is obvious when you have seen them setup this season. Whether executing stunning positional play in a 3-2-2-3 setup, as depicted in Pic 2, or adopting a more defensive stance in a 4-4-2 or 5-3-2 formation, as shown in Pic 1, Villa excels, particularly with Watkins making an impact in transition plays. The praise they receive is well-earned, especially considering their unexpected success, largely credited to the influence of Unai Emery. His ability to fulfill the ambitions of Aston Villa’s fans serves as a testament to his significant role in the team’s remarkable journey.

Also read: Wonderkid Central: Mikey Moore – Tottenham’s Young Goal-Scoring Talent On The Flanks

Vid 1: Villa scoring against Chelsea in just 3 moves

The above Vid 1 shows how well Villa played on the transition. With Emery drilling a knack of sniffing out the right channels to attack, almost all forwards in Villa’s forward line have thrived. But as we discussed about Pic 2, Villa could play some brilliant possession-based game, because they have the tools to do so. It’s why whether the opponent in front is Sean Dyche or Pep Guardiola, Unai Emery has made one robust team out of the Villains.




Pics 3, 4, 5: Everton’s tactical ideas under Dyche in 23/24

As it turns out to be a year since Dyche’s appointment, Everton have gone through a lot and Dyche has navigated successfully all of that. While I will keep the things off the pitch, on the pitch Dyche has made Everton a solid side. Their 4-5-1, 4-4-2 hybrid has seen them be stronger than the sum of the parts this team has. Sean Dyche’s Everton aren’t just a regular pragmatic team, but they play with some strong off-ball and on-ball technique. Pic 5 shows an example where their man-to-man press is very effective, usually able to make the most of it into proper transition opportunities.

Perhaps with more quality, Everton can be one phenomenal team. A team that’s coached on the basics well is always one that’s hard to beat and one that can make the most of the players it has. In that terms, Dyche’s tactical ideas with 4-5-1/4-4-2 has seen them do wonders. If Amadou Onana is on the verge of a move to Arsenal today, credit is certainly due to Sean Dyche and Everton for his development and progress.

Also read: Manchester United’s Defensive Woes: Erik Ten Hag Criticizes Players After Draw With Tottenham

Everton vs Aston Villa Predicted Lineups and Possible Insights:

Pic 6 Everton vs Aston Villa Predicted Lineups

Aston Villa are expected to make changes from their previous lineup in PL against Burnley with Matty Cash and Torres set to be back into the fray. This combination certainly speaks of one that can either turn out in a 4 or 3 back with Cash capable of deputising as the RCB as needed.

For Everton, Onana is expected to be available and start as rumours around him swirl. With nearly all the ideal personnel available at Dyche’s disposal, Everton could field Doucoure, and Garner alongside Onana and have Calvert Lewin (DCL) be the point man up front. The move to keep 3 midfielders for Everton should definitely see Emery counter it with perhaps Kamara being back into lineup alongside the Mcginn and Luiz combo.

The main 1v1 battles to expect could be the one between Everton’s FBs and Villa’s widemen. With likes of Diaby and Bailey going against experienced and relatively new Mykolenko, expect this to be Emery’s main area to target Everton. For Everton, their physicality in midfield perhaps could prevail against Villa but it’s on them to make opportunities out of it.

Conclusion: Pressure on Aston Villa more??

Maybe Aston Villa fans don’t want to jinx themselves but this is already on course to be their best season in ages, especially after climbing back to PL again around a few years ago. They are right now the most credible and closest to what you can describe as a title challenger with Liverpool flying high on top. For them now, each game brings one step closer to an impossible dream their fans have at night to make a reality.

For Everton, they are a team that accepted a reality a few months ago and are working to stay up fighting the odds. The common point between both teams are fighting the odds, but Aston Villa have to also keep up the expectations and perhaps maybe why this game brings more heat to Villa.

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