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
Jan 26, 2015, 8:22 PM EST
3-4 months on the sidelines means a massive hole to fill to start the 2015 season.
Jan 26, 2015, 7:10 PM EST
After two more places in the knockout rounds were booked on Tuesday, half the quarterfinal matchups are set.
Jan 26, 2015, 6:15 PM EST
Half the current USMNT roster was built with the Gold Cup in mind, while the other half is about next year’s Olympics. So, who’s who, then?
Jan 26, 2015, 4:05 PM EST
After eight months without a club, Juan Agudelo is reportedly returning to the place he should have been all along: MLS.
Jan 26, 2015, 2:59 PM EST
As the soccer world will no longer see the maverick skills of the Argentine playmaker, here’s a look at some of his best moments.
Jan 26, 2015, 2:38 PM EST
Here’s the draw for the last 16 of the FA Cup, as PL big boys get more tough tests.
Jan 26, 2015, 1:57 PM EST
Van Praag announces his intentions to run against Blatter, says he has the backing of five federations.
Jan 26, 2015, 1:00 PM EST
Betting on five underdogs away from home in the FA Cup will win you serious cash.
Jan 26, 2015, 12:32 PM EST
Fagundez explains why he couldn’t wait any longer to select his national team.
Jan 26, 2015, 12:00 PM EST
If Wolfsburg can agree a fee for Schurrle, should he leave Stamford Bridge?
Jan 26, 2015, 11:26 AM EST
Carver will take charge for the final 16 games of the season… but what then?
Jan 26, 2015, 9:55 AM EST
Red Bulls attacker heading to Abu Dhabi?
Jan 26, 2015, 9:20 AM EST
The signing of two Venezuelan youngsters could put Real in plenty of trouble with FIFA, as Barcelona-esque transfer ban could be on the cards.
Jan 26, 2015, 8:34 AM EST
The Koreans will face either Australia or the UAE in Saturday’s final in Sydney.
Jan 26, 2015, 8:00 AM EST
All the latest gossip, right here.
Jan 25, 2015, 11:33 PM EST
“I am concerned, not because of Chelsea but because we didn’t score in our last two home games,” Pellegrini said.
Jan 25, 2015, 10:50 PM EST
The 33-year-old Cameroonian striker joins a Sampdoria side currently tied for third in the table with 34 points.
Jan 25, 2015, 10:13 PM EST
“If he’s not ready for Tuesday then he’ll be back, for sure, against West Ham next weekend,” Rodgers said.
Jan 25, 2015, 9:22 PM EST
Maloney turned 32 on Saturday and will be unveiled by Chicago on Monday.
Jan 25, 2015, 8:31 PM EST
Sepp Blatter: Kind of like “The Godfather”. But let’s be clear, we’re talking “The Godfather: Part III”.
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