Tactical Decisions Aston Villa Should Make To Win Vs Everton (Both Dean Smith and Chris Wilder seen in the picture)
Sheffield United's English manager Chris Wilder (L) and Aston Villa's English head coach Dean Smith (R) go to bump arms at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Sheffield United at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on June 17, 2020. - The Premier League makes its eagerly anticipated return today after 100 days in lockdown but behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Aston Villa will lock horns with Everton at Goodison Park on Thursday evening hoping to pick up a positive result on the road. The Villans cannot afford to drop any more points if they are to have a realistic chance of saving their top-flight status for another season. The West Midlands outfit are currently four points adrift of 17th placed Watford with just three matches left to be played this season.

It would take a miracle for Dean Smith’s side to survive the drop, but they have shown some fighting spirit versus Crystal Palace last weekend which will give them a confidence boost heading into this midweek clash against the Toffees.

Here are three tactical decisions Smith should make to ensure his side can bag maximum points versus the Merseyside outfit later this week.

Pick Trezeguet Over Anwar El Ghazi

Trezeguet managed to score a brace of goals which made the difference versus the Eagles last weekend. Hence, Smith should strongly consider playing him again rather than bring back Anwar El Ghazi, as he has often done in the past, for this clash away at Merseyside.

The Egyptian winger has the technical quality to cause a few headaches for the Toffees defenders at Goodison Park in midweek.

Tactical Decisions Aston Villa Should Make To Win Vs Everton (Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish clapping in the photo)
Jack Grealish of Aston Villa looks dejected after defeat in the Premier League match between Leicester City and Aston Villa at The King Power Stadium on March 09, 2020, in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Instruct His Players To Defend In Numbers

One of the main reasons behind Villa’s struggles this season has been their habit of conceding some cheap goals at the back. They have shipped in 65 goals so far which makes them the Premier League’s second-worst defence. Therefore, Smith will have no choice but to ask his players to defend in numbers so that they can neutralise the threat of Everton’s Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin later this week.

Offer Jack Grealish The Freedom To Express Himself In Attack

Since the Premier League restart, Jack Grealish has struggled to be as effective as he was in the first half of this campaign. The Villa captain has often been outnumbered by the opposition out on the wide areas which has made it difficult for him to orchestrate any decent chances going forward.

Smith will be better off giving Grealish the freedom to get involved in the final third by playing Matt Targett at left-back. Then it would allow the English midfielder to not worry about helping out his teammate so much at the back so that he has the license to influence the game in the opposition half while operating as a left-sided wide player.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.