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The FourFourTwo Preview: Everton vs Aston Villa

This weekend's hosts saw a four-game unbeaten run in the Premier League ended comprehensively on Tuesday by Merseyside neighbours Liverpool, who ran out 4-0 winners at Anfield.

A day later, Villa came out on top against West Brom in an entertaining encounter at Villa Park, triumphing 4-3 to record their first home victory in the league since November.

Prior to the turn of the year, Villa had won only twice in 13 Premier League fixtures but they have shown signs of improvement in 2014 - beating Sunderland, picking up a point against Liverpool and edging past West Brom. 

Christian Benteke's return to form has provided a particular boost for Paul Lambert's side, with the Belgium international scoring in his last three games. 

Everton will be wary of conceding further goals this week, having been put to the sword by the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez on Tuesday.

The defeat to Liverpool was only Everton's third in the league this season, with Roberto Martinez's side having based much of their success on home comforts. 

Martinez has only tasted one top-flight defeat at Goodison Park in the league since succeeding David Moyes as manager in the close season, and Everton sit sixth in the table, one point adrift of Tottenham.

The Spaniard is eager for his charges to use the loss against Liverpool as motivation on Saturday as they aim to maintain a challenge for European qualification. 

"We don't hide the fact we had a real disappointment because we know how important the derby is," he said.

"We're still in that privileged group with only three defeats in the league; we want to get together as a football club.

"It's something we need to take in as our advantage."

Everton will be without leading goalscorer Romelu Lukaku, who suffered an ankle injury against Liverpool, while Sylvain Distin and Seamus Coleman (both hamstring) will miss out as well. 

Gerard Deulofeu (hamstring) is also an absentee for Everton while Villa have fitness doubts over Gabby Agbonlahor (foot), Chris Herd (hamstring) and Joe Bennett (back). 

Everton won the reverse fixture 2-0 in October, thanks to goals from Lukaku and Leon Osman, although the last four meetings between the two at Goodison Park have ended in draws.