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Sunday, 15 February 2009

Not sure if Everton vs Villa will yield many goals

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The tie of the FA Cup fifth round is clearly, Everton vs Aston Villa. In Premier League terms sixth plays third, and two teams hoping for a shot at the glamour and money of the Champions' League through finishing in the top four.

But the immediate glamour of the FA Cup is on offer here and the winner of this tie has a decent chance of winning the tournament. Liverpool is out after the extra time goal from Dan Gosling settled Everton's last tie and Manchester United are weighed down by fixtures and injury problems and seem certain to come unstuck in this tournament at some point. Chelsea and Arsenal are on the same kind of level as Everton and Villa this season so the winners could well come from this pair.

Both Everton and Villa boast good recent form with the emphasis on a rock solid defence - Everton with its all-English back four, and Villa shrugging off the loss of Laursen. On average the pair have been conceding an average of 0.5 goals per game since Christmas. On that basis I'm not sure that there is enough between the teams to suggest that there will be more than one goal in this game, with a 0-0 draw a distinct possibility. Everton start with home advantage and will be favourites against a team missing Laursen and (probably) Heskey - but it will be very tight.

EVERTON FORM GUIDE - Last 10; W6, D3, L1, F14, A4

Middlesbro 0-1 Everton 26-12-2008
Everton 3-0 Sunderland 28-12-2008
Macclesfield 0-1 Everton 03-01-2009
Everton 2-0 Hull 10-01-2009
Liverpool 1-1 Everton 19-01-2009
Liverpool 1-1 Everton 25-01-2009
Everton 1-1 Arsenal 28-01-2009
Manchester United 1-0 Everton 31-01-2009
Everton 1-0 Liverpool 04-02-2009
Everton 3-0 Bolton Wanderers 07-02-2009

ASTON VILLA FORM GUIDE - Last 10; W7, D3, L0, F15, A6

Aston Villa 2-2 Arsenal 26-12-2008
Hull 0-1 Aston Villa 30-12-2008
Gillingham 1-2 Aston Villa 04-01-2009
Aston Villa 2-1 West Bromwich Albion 10-01-2009
Sunderland 1-2 Aston Villa 17-01-2009
Doncaster 0-0 Aston Villa 24-01-2009
Portsmouth 0-1 Aston Villa 27-01-2009
Aston Villa 0-0 Wigan 31-01-2009
Aston Villa 3-1 Doncaster 04-02-2009
Blacburn Rovers 0-2 Aston Villa 07-02-2009

Tips: 0-0 draw (15/2 with Bet365), under 2.5 goals (8/13)

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Antony Melvin



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