Pundit and former Premier League star Michael Owen has delivered a three-word prediction ahead of the weekend’s Premier League clash for Everton with Aston Villa.
Everton have got off to a flying start under a modestly-assembled new-look side under Rafa Benitez in the Premier League this season, winning three of their four league games and drawing against Leeds to go unbeaten.
They have also progressed in the Carabao Cup with a 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town in a positive sign of progress under the new boss.
By contrast, the Blues’ weekend opponents have struggled to excel as of late with Dean Smith’s side recently losing 3-0 against Chelsea with a squad depleted through isolations and injury.
To add misery to their start, the Villans lost 3-2 to newly-promoted Watford and only drew with Premier League new boys Brentford.
If Villa do not beat Everton, it will mean they will go into their game against Manchester United at Old Trafford with only one win from their opening five Premier League games in an unwanted start for the midlands giants.
Crucially, Owen was optimistic as to Everton’s chances of major success this season and backed the Blues to be ‘in the mix’ for the top six this campaign.
As quoted by BirminghamLive, Owen said:
“Villa have been a little hit and miss this season which can be expected after a summer with a lot of ins and outs. They’ve got some excellent players and once Dean Smith can find the right starting 11, I would expect them to be pushing for the top eight.
“There seems to be a real feel-good factor around Everton at the minute. This isn’t an easy one, but I think they can narrowly edge it 2-1.”
Read Everton Verdict
The Toffees have been long-starved of European football and an unsettled Villa side looks to be a further opportunity to pick up points and extend Everton’s unbeaten run.
Owen clearly smells blood against Aston Villa and the squad must be buzzing with confidence going into the game.