Everton are on the hunt for back-to-back top flight wins, but it has been an inability to string results together which has scuppered their Champions League hopes.
Currently in 8th, the Toffees can still finish in the top 4 but it is certainly an outside bet with Tottenham, Liverpool and West Ham United all above them in the standings.
The gap to Chelsea in 4th is 6 points – so the Londoners are catchable – but Everton will need to cast aside their patchy form and see off Villa to stand much of a chance of doing so.
Aston Villa meanwhile travel to Merseyside 11th in the Premier League after 32 games, 7 points behind Everton but just a couple behind Arsenal and Leeds who are ahead of them in the table.
Consistency has also been the operative word this season for Dean Smith’s side, with 13 wins, 6 draws and 13 defeats during the campaign to date a clear indicator of their hit-and-miss form.
A top half finish is surely the aim for Villa from here on in – something which will be considered a marked improvement on last season where the club flirted dangerously close with relegation.
However, the second city outfit will need a better return than the single point they have scooped from their last 3 away fixtures against Sheffield United, Newcastle and Liverpool respectively.
In terms of fitness, Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti remains without Jean Philippe-Gbamin and Abdoulaye Doucoure, but Michael Keane looks set to be available after recovering from a thigh complaint.
Aston Villa are still missing Morgan Sanson, Trezeguet and the influential Jack Grealish, but Matty Cash will return from the suspension he picked up against Manchester City.
Everton v Aston Villa begins at 8pm on Saturday 1st May.