Aston Villa’s fight for Premier League survival continues on Thursday evening as Dean Smith’s side travel to Goodison Park.
The Villains currently remain four points from safety with three games remaining and despite beating Crystal Palace over the weekend, the margin for error remains slim.
A couple of goals thanks to Trezeguet who handed them the win means that Villa are not done and dusted quite yet – however they remain on life support and will need to match their spectacular performance on the weekend against Everton.
Problems at both ends of the pitch have hampered Villa’s chances of staying in the top-flight. They have failed to score in three of their last four league outings, while only bottom club Norwich have conceded more top-flight goals this season.
This one is a tough one to predict. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have been on and off it this season and have very little left to play for as the turn of the season approaches. A trio of uninspiring performances has almost entirely stripped any meaning from the remainder of Everton's season. Carlo Ancelotti's side are ensconced in mid-table mediocrity - a position which will frustrate an ambitious ownership but is desperately envied by their upcoming opponents.
Everton are now winless in three matches and are 10 points adrift Wolves in sixth meaning that Europa League qualification is out of the question.
Ancelotti will at least take solace from his side's home form, with Everton unbeaten at Goodison Park in the league since the end of November.
Here's how each side has fared in their last five matches:
Everton's Last 5 Games
Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 Everton (12/7) Everton 1-1 Southampton (9/7) Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Everton (6/7) Everton 2-1 Leicester City (1/7) Norwich City 0-1 Everton (24/6)
Aston Villa's Last 5 Games
Aston Villa 2-0 Crystal Palace (12/7) Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United (9/7) Liverpool 2-0 Aston Villa (5/7) Aston Villa 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers (27/6) Newcastle United 1-1 Aston Villa (24/6)
Predicted line-up (4-4-2): Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne; Bernard, Davies, Sigurdsson, Iwobi; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Unavailable: Gbamin (Injured), Tosun (Injured)
Doubtful: Delph (Injured), Holgate (Injured), Mina (Injured), Andre Gomes (Injured)
Predicted line-up (4-3-3): Reina; Elmohamady, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Hourihane; Trezeguet, Samatta, Grealish
Unavailable: Wesley (Injured), Heaton (Injured), Engels (Injured)
Doubtful: Taylor (Injured), Hause (Injured)
Looking at Villa’s final three games, they come up against Everton this Thursday, travel to Arsenal a week later and to close the season off travel to West Ham where both sides' fates could be decided. Looking at those three fixtures I can only see them picking up a maximum of four points which unfortunately won't be enough for Premier League survival.
That being said, I'm going for a draw here.
Match Preview written by Jordan Hall