English Premiership

Preview: Everton v Aston Villa

2014-10-17 12:34
Ross Barkley (Supplied)
Ross Barkley (Supplied)
Cape Town - With just one league win thus far this season, Everton will be eager to kick-start their campaign when they welcome Aston Villa to Goodison Park on Saturday.

The Toffees currently find themselves just one place clear of the relegation zone after a poor start to the season which has seen them garner just six points from their opening seven matches.

Roberto Martinez received a boost this week with the return to full training of star midfielder Ross Barkley, who has yet to feature this term due to a knee injury.

The England international has an outside shot of featuring against Villa, but defender Sylvain Distin (dead leg) will definitely be available for selection.

Martinez is hopeful that defender Seamus Coleman (thigh) and midfielders Steven Pienaar (hip) and James McCarthy (thigh) will be fit, but Kevin Mirallas (hamstring) and John Stones (knee) are definite non-starters.

Aston Villa have made a bright start to the season, claiming ten points from their first four matches, including a 3-0 win over Liverpool. However, a tough run of fixtures has resulted in consecutive defeats to Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Paul Lambert will have to make do without the services of influential midfielder Fabian Delph for the fixture, with the England man ruled out by a suspected dislocated shoulder. Delph is joined on the sidelines by defender Philippe Senderos, who has been laid low by a thigh injury.

There is some good news for Villa, though, with skipper Ron Vlaar set to return after overcoming a hamstring injury.

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