Everton's McCarthy discusses Villa survival chances

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Aston Villa host Everton in the Premier League on Tuesday, with their hopes of avoiding the drop deteriorating.

He may be in a minority, but Everton's James McCarthy still believes Aston Villa can survive relegation from the Premier League.

The Toffees travel to Villa Park on Tuesday looking to inflict further damage on the division's basement side and return to the top half in the process.

The Villains have won just two of their last 25 league matches and sit eight points adrift of 17th-placed Norwich City. Despite their plight though, McCarthy says survival is doable and adds that Everton won't change their approach in the West Midlands.

"It's must-win for them," the Republic of Ireland midfielder told Everton's official site on Monday. "But it's must-win for us as well because we want to kick up this table.

"It's going to be a tough game. They've lost again at the weekend [against Stoke City] but there's no change in our mentality; we go there looking to take maximum points and they're looking to take maximum points, obviously; they want to stay in the league. 

"It's still doable for them [to survive] and until they can't survive then that'll be the way. But they're going to put a fight up against us and we're ready for it."

McCarthy experienced several battles with relegation during his time at Wigan Athletic, with the Latics eventually succumbing to the drop in his final season, three years ago.

Villa's record against Everton will not inspire much confidence, with the Toffees unbeaten in nine of the last ten meetings between the two teams.

The only exception came during last season's corresponding fixture, when Villa were 3-2 victors - pulling themselves clear of the drop.

McCarthy's Everton teammate Tom Cleverley was on target for Tim Sherwood's side that day.

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