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    Match Preview: Everton v Aston Villa

    By Mollie Bennett (@molliebjourno)

    Everton welcome Remi Garde’s Aston Villa to Goodison Park tomorrow looking to build-up form going into the pre-Christmas period.

    The Toffees welcome Tom Cleverley back to the first team frame after three months on the sideline with an ankle injury.

    Fellow long-term absentee Mo Besic is also back in contention after making his comeback from a hamstring injury during a second-half cameo for Bosnia in the week.

    Leighton Baines faces a late fitness test ahead of the Villa game, and Roberto Martinez will be hoping he is passed fit to play his first competitive game of the season.

    The Spaniard could be left scratching his head if Baines is deemed unfit, as youngsters Brendan Galloway and Tyias Browning are both doubts for the Blues.

    Captain Phil Jagielka, Tony Hibbert and Bryan Oviedo are all still out for the Toffees.

    Meanwhile, Remi Garde will be hoping to build on the point his side picked-up against Manchester City last time out, but the Frenchman was dealt a blow when Jordan Amavi suffered cruciate ligament damage playing for France U21s in the week.

    Jores Okore and Gabby Abgonlahor are also doubts for Garde’s first away game at the helm.

    Ashley Westwood and Rudy Gestede are also struggling with knocks but both are expected to be available if they are called upon.

    The Toffees will be hoping to kick-start their season after a tough opening to the Premier League campaign.

    The Blues have faced eight of last season’s top ten so far this season, but now have a kind run of fixtures leading into the Christmas period.

    Martinez has stated the importance of Everton’s forthcoming fixtures and believes it is a vital period for his side’s European ambition.

    Evertonians will be hoping for a victory against rock-bottom Villa, but will be aware of the threat the Villans face under new manager Garde.

    The fixture is the most played in English football league history, with both sides leading the way in the number of season’s in the top flight.

    Historically it is tough to split the sides with 80 wins apiece going into the 218th meeting between the two sides in all competitions.

    There have been goals-a-plenty since the opening fixture in 1888, with eight in two meetings last season.

    I am expecting a tight game between the two sides but believe Everton will use their home advantage and claim victory.

    My Everton 11 (depending on fitness): Joel; Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Galloway; McCarthy, Barry; Deulofeu, Barkley, Kone; Lukaku.
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    Item Reviewed: Match Preview: Everton v Aston Villa Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Mollie Bennett
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