Everton vs Aston Villa news: Ferguson looking to stake his claim to land Toffees job permanently

Everton host Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday with a club legend eager to make an impression in the dugout.

Everton attempt to move on from the ill-fated Rafael Benitez era this weekend as they welcome Aston Villa to Goodison Park.

Toffees legend Duncan Ferguson will take charge as caretaker manager - his second stint in the role - and the presence of Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard in the opposing dugout is sure to add extra spice to the occasion.

When: Saturday, January 22, 12:30PM GMT

Where: Goodison Park

Where to watch: BT Sport

Follow the match in our live centre

Who is the ref for Everton vs Aston Villa?

Craig Pawson has shown the most cards in festive fixtures

Craig Pawson will be the man in the middle for this one, with the Sheffield referee one of the busier in the Premier League this season.

Interestingly, he took charge of the reverse fixture between these two sides. Aston Villa won that one 3-0, with Pawson brandishing two yellow cards, one to each team.

Season stats 2021/22: Premier League matches (13), yellows (48), reds (1)

Recent form

Given Everton have just sacked their manager, it doesn't really need saying that they are in poor form.

After a promising start to the season, Everton have won just two Premier League games since mid-November. That run includes 10 defeats.

Aston Villa, meanwhile, appear to have lost a bit of the new-manager bounce that Steven Gerrard provided them.

They are winless in their last four games in all competitions, losing three of them, but they did stem the tide with a battling 2-2 draw against Manchester United in their last outing.

Everton and Aston Villa form players

Philippe Coutinho applauds the crowd following his Aston Villa debut

Again, if Everton had players in form they probably wouldn't have sacked their manager, although Anthony Gordon, Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend, and Richarlison all have goals to their name of late.

From an Aston Villa point of view, all eyes will again be on Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian made a dream start last week with a goal and assist.

It is also worth keeping an eye on Lucas Digne, who has just joined Villa from Everton and scored an own goal in the reverse fixture back in September. Similarly, Anwar El Ghazi has made a move in the opposite direction this month.

Last three matches

Aston Villa 3-0 Everton (September 18, 2021)

After a promising start to the season for Rafael Benitez, it was at Villa Park where everything started to unravel.

A second-half collapse with goals from Matty Cash, Lucas Digne (own goal) and Leon Bailey saw the Toffees well beaten.

Neither of the managers in charge that day will be involved in this one.

Aston Villa 0-0 Everton (May 13, 2021)

There really wasn't much to write home about when these sides met at Villa Park in May, with a lazy late-season clash between two mid-table teams finishing in a dour goalless draw.

Everton probably shaded it on the balance of chances, but that's not really saying much.

Everton 1-2 Aston Villa (May 1, 2021)

The teams had actually met just 12 days earlier too, with the Goodison Park clash providing far more excitement.

Ollie Watkins handed Villa an early lead only to see Dominic Calvert-Lewin level six minutes later. Both teams pushed for a winner, but it was Villa who grabbed it through Anwar El Ghazi - who now plays for Everton - ten minutes from time.

Last ten matches

Everton wins: 4

Draws: 2

Aston Villa wins: 4

Everton goals: 16

Aston Villa goals: 13

Managers' thoughts

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard who insists he has every confidence in any academy players

Everton caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson said: "I am getting among the players and telling a few home truths because the past has not been good enough. But it is in the past. We move forwards, the game is coming and let's get ready for it. They [Everton players] should give everything. They should run themselves into the ground."

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard: "To have an iconic figure leading the team (Ferguson), it will be pretty similar to what happened when he took over previously.

"The atmosphere, noise and support behind the team changed and he got a big reaction out of the players. From our point of view, we need to be ready for that, we need to handle that and make sure we’re the best version of ourselves."

Predicted Everton vs Aston Villa teams

Duncan Ferguson may well wield the axe against Villa with Seamus Coleman looking especially vulnerable. There could be a debut for Nathan Patterson in his place.

Similarly, Michael Keane will be sweating on his place.

Ezri Konsa is a doubt for Villa with a hip problem but John McGinn, who missed the draw with Man United, is available after suspension.

Possible Everton starting line-up: Pickford; Patterson, Mina, Godfey, Mykolenko; Townsend, Doucoure, Gomes, Gray; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin

Possible Aston Villa starting line-up: Martinez; Cash, Hause, Mings, Digne; McGinn, Douglas Luiz, J Ramsey; Buendia, Coutinho; Watkins.

Everton vs Aston Villa prediction

Duncan Ferguson has stepped into this position before and delivered a 3-1 home win. He is certainly an impactful character, so we'll back the Toffees to do the same again.

Planet Sport prediction: Everton 3-1 Aston Villa

READ MORE: How tall is Jurgen Klopp and how does he measure up in a league table of Premier League managers?

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