Aston Villa have won just one of their last five matches and suffered their fourth straight home defeat last time out at the hands of Swansea. Everton remain slumped in the bottom half after losing back-to-back games including Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat at high-flying Tottenham. The Toffees have struggled in front of goal lately, failing to score in four of their last eight matches. They have fared better on the road, with four of their seven victories coming away from Goodison Park. Villa will be desperate to resurrect their home form and can take heart from their recent record against their visitors, who have not won any of the sides’ last 11 meetings.
Robbie Keane is in contention to make his Aston Villa debut - subject to obtaining international clearance. The Los Angeles Galaxy player, who has joined Villa on a two-month loan, will replace Emile Heskey who has been sidelined for a month with an Achilles injury. Shay Given is available after a six week lay-off with a hamstring problem but Carlos Cuellar (thigh) and Chris Herd (ankle) are still ruled out.
Darron Gibson goes straight into Everton’s squad as he was registered in time to be eligible after his move from Manchester United. A hamstring injury to Sylvain Distin leaves David Moyes with more problems at centre-back as Phil Jagielka is still sidelined by a knee problem, which could mean a start for Shane Duffy, who only made his first league appearance as a substitute in the midweek defeat at Tottenham.
Possible starting XIs:
S Given • A Hutton, J Collins, R Dunne, S Warnock • M Albrighton (or C N'Zogbia), C Clark, S Petrov, G Agbonlahor • S Ireland (or R Keane) • D Bent
T Howard • P Neville, J Heitinga, S Duffy, L Baines • L Donovan, M Fellaini, D Gibson, R Drenthe • T Cahill • L Saha