Oct 26, 2013, 9:40 AM EST
Aston Villa may have finally won a home match — and against Manchester City, no less — but that doesn’t mean the hosts will have an easy time containing Everton in their visit to Villa Park (10 am ET, watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra).
The Villa’s three-match unbeaten run in the league was broken last weekend when Tottenham came to town, with Spurs walking away with a fairly straightforward 2-0 victory. At least Aston Villa can welcome back Christian Benteke, who came on as a sub last week but will start up top today. Perhaps surprisingly, Paul Lambert chooses to hand a second Premier League start to Aleksandar Tonev, who joins fellow attackers Benteke, Andreas Weimann and Gabby Agbonlahor.
Everton, after a bit of a stuttering start to the season, must be thrilled by their current form, with four wins from their past five games. In fact, the only real blight in their copybook is the away loss to Manchester City, their only loss of the season. That puts the Toffees in seventh and, should other fixtures fall in their favor, able to move into the European positions at the end of the round. Romelu Lukaku takes his place up top for Everton, while Steven Pienaar, who came off the bench to score against Hull last weekend, gets his first start of the season.
This match is the most played fixture in England, but this year it takes on a unique twist: Villa-Everton becomes the Battle of the Belgians. Romelu Lukaku has four goals in six matches for the Toffees, as does the returning Benteke in league play. Which Belgian forward do you favor to pull ahead in the goalscoring race today?
Aston Villa starting XI: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Westwood, Weimann, Luna, Delph, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Tonev
Subs: Steer, Clark, El Ahmadi, Helenius, Sylla, Kozak, Lowton
Everton starting XI: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas, Barkley, Pienaar, Lukaku
Subs: Joel, Jelavic, Oviedo, Deulofeu, Naismith, Osman, Stones
Nov 26, 2014, 12:29 PM EST
The Bayern star was outshone by Sergio Aguero’s hat trick in Munich’s 3-2 loss to Manchester City.
Nov 26, 2014, 11:30 AM EST
Stoke City will be without their on-loan winger as the Nigerian international is sidelined with a thigh injury.
Nov 26, 2014, 10:45 AM EST
Rog and Davo scrutinize Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool and welcome Kyle Martino to the pod.
Nov 26, 2014, 10:19 AM EST
Eight Champions League matches take place today as Arsenal and Liverpool both look to rebound from Premier League losses.
Nov 26, 2014, 9:25 AM EST
Spanish defender Sergio Ramos questioned some players loyalty to the national team, which didn’t sit well with Cesc Fabregas.
Nov 26, 2014, 8:35 AM EST
The Aston Villa striker will be looking for minutes as he heads down the ranks to the Championship on a one-month loan.
Nov 26, 2014, 7:45 AM EST
Four Premier League defenders found their way onto FIFA’s shortlist for the 2014 FIFPro World XI.
Nov 25, 2014, 11:15 PM EST
There were a lot of fouls in the first leg of Los Angeles and Seattle’s Western Conference final, and some were quite serious.
Nov 25, 2014, 10:45 PM EST
Like many fun to watch goals, the magic of the shooter is magnified by the mistakes of the defenders.
Nov 25, 2014, 10:00 PM EST
“I think they have to accept we were too strong for them,” added Mourinho.
Nov 25, 2014, 9:16 PM EST
We’ll be following who else comes calling for the Princeton man.
Manchester United assistant Ryan Giggs thinks Chelsea’s the top dog, compares Louis van Gaal to Alex Ferguson
Nov 25, 2014, 8:05 PM EST
Giggs calls the Stamford Bridge club “head and shoulders above the Premier League” on the strength of their back four.
Nov 25, 2014, 7:13 PM EST
These will be hot in the summer. But are they hot now? What do you think?
Nov 25, 2014, 6:51 PM EST
Eleven players had their options declined on Tuesday, but Colorado says they could be back with the club in January.
Nov 25, 2014, 6:03 PM EST
Recapping all the action from around Europe after a pivotal matchday in UCL play.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:55 PM EST
Berahino scored in the next match after his arrest, but has since gone cold.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:32 PM EST
Rogers talked about how working with gay and lesbian youth organizations made him realize the impact he could make as an openly-gay player.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:22 PM EST
City’s late show sets up pulsating clash in the Italian capital next month.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:46 PM EST
Citizens grab last-gasp win to boost their chances of making the last 16.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:33 PM EST
Five different players netted as Chelsea picked up its largest road Champions League win since 1999.
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