Marco Silva says Everton’s main focus is on Aston Villa

Marco Silva is not thinking about whether or not Everton can claim top spot in the Premier League at Aston Villa on Friday.

With no other games played until Saturday, the Toffees could move to the summit for the first time in 12 years with victory over the promoted midlanders at Villa Park.

Yet Silva insists that is not his concern as he focuses on breaking down a Villa side that has impressed him despite losing their opening fixtures to Tottenham and Bournemouth.

The Everton boss said: “It would be good but we have to prove we are able to do that. We have to respect our opponent, they have quality.

“As always we go there to win a football match but we have to play in our best level to win.

“Of the two results they have achieved – the first match was tough but they were close to getting a good result, and last week they lost but when you analyse the match I think they deserved more. They showed qualities.

“They like to play good football, offensive football and in my opinion the game will be open and we will have to play to attack. It is up to us to prove on the pitch we are able to get the three points.

“Afterwards we will see the result and if we get to the top. In our minds we just have to respect them and go there with desire and commitment to win.”

Everton have not conceded a goal in their opening two matches of the season, a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace and 1-0 home win over Watford.

Maintaining that record against Villa would see Everton open a campaign with three successive clean sheets for the first time since 1912.

Silva said: “It would make me really proud. I know how hard we have worked to achieve something like that.

“The numbers are fantastic, not just because in two games we didn’t concede and will work not to concede in the third game, but the way we finished last season also. It is up to us to keep working hard.

“Of course we are trying to get more clinical in the other box also, to score more goals, because it is really important for us.”

Silva’s side also ended last season with eight clean sheets in their last 11 games.

Deadline-day signing Alex Iwobi is yet to feature for Everton but Silva says the winger is nearing his debut.

He said: “For sure he is looking forward to that – we are all looking forward to that.

“But he started a little late. It is just his second week working with the team. He didn’t have a pre-season.

“You have to give him enough time to get fitter. Of course if we need him in the games he is able to help us, not for 90 minutes, but he is getting better.

“If I decide he’s ready he’ll be ready to help and give the high quality he has.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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