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This was going to be a clash on the touchline between Rafa Benitez and his Liverpool Captain Steven Gerrard, but after a run of 9 defeats in 12 games the Spaniard has been relieved of his duties at Goodison Park. That isn’t likely to solve all of Everton’s issues and whilst it may appease certain aspects of the crowd, the fact remains that they are 16th in the table, having conceded 34 goals in 19 games.

Steven Gerrard has revitalized Aston Villa and the arrival of Phillippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne (from Everton) show that they mean business. They rescued a point last weekend against Manchester United, showing all the tenacity that their manager showed in his playing career. They are only 4 points above Everton, but the mood around the 2 clubs could not be more contrasting, with Villa Park the far happier of the 2 camps.

However, Duncan Ferguson worked wonders in his previous spell as caretaker at Everton and so the toffees should put on a better show than their abject display at Norwich last weekend and with both sides prone to the odd mistake at the back the score draw looks to be the value play.