Six years have now gone by since Paul Merson's last-minute goal earned Aston Villa their last victory at Goodison Park.
In five visits since, only Lee Hendrie's stunning goal in the 1-1 draw at this time of year two seasons ago has even earned them a point against Everton. Last term's visit, in late March, was a positive embarrassment.
Three goals down inside the first 45 minutes, David O'Leary's side were licked 4-1, consoled only by a goal on his debut by Gabriel Agbonlahor.
The recurring feature, though, of Villa's meetings with Everton in recent years has been the goal-scoring contributions of midfield players. Visiting boss Martin O'Neill will be on the look-out today for the obvious threat of Leon Osman and Everton's top scorer Tim Cahill, who have netted six goals between them in their last three meetings with Villa.
But, after a humbling Wednesday night experience at Stamford Bridge in which Frank Lampard and Michael Essien were on target in Chelsea's 4-0 Carling Cup cruise, O'Neill is also aware of the need for goals from his own midfield.
Admittedly, skipper Gareth Barry is not doing so badly but three of his five goals have been from the penalty spot. The chief cause for concern is that Stiliyan Petrov - who averaged double figures for the season in his seven years at Celtic - has yet to score for Villa. Not that O'Neill sees it any more than a temporary loss of form, especially given how sharp Petrov looked early in the season.
"He is not getting overly concerned about not getting a goal," said O'Neill. "I just think for the last couple of games he has been below his very best.
"In the company of Lampard, Essien, Claude Makelele and Michael Ballack the other night, I would expect Stan to be able to compete, knowing what I know of him and his battles in Europe for Celtic against such top players. To be that real quality midfield player I think he is, he will be disappointed that the game passed him by."
Admittedly, there has been the distraction of his row with Bulgarian national coach Hristo Stoichkov and the small, but painful, problem over a new pair of boots that was causing him to blister.
But O'Neill said: "He is over his blisters. That was to do with some set of boots he was wearing and I still think he is capable of competing strongly against the very best, like he was up against the other night. He showed what he is capable of in certain early-season games."
Petrov's temporary loss of form has not yet persuaded him to recall Hendrie from his so far successful loan spell with Stoke City. But, judging by the quality of the three goals he has scored in the Potteries, it might not be too much longer before O'Neill is tempted to bring him back, especially now Hendrie is into the second month of his stay at the Britannia Stadium and Villa do have an automatic recall option.
"It is a genuine thought," said O'Neill. "A distinct possibility as he gets fitter with every game, which can only be better news for us but I won't do it for this game, because my problems are defensive problems."
Liam Ridgewell - who fell ill before last Sunday's 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers and who was then left on the bench at Chelsea - is the obvious replacement for the luckless Martin Laursen. O'Neill may have to make a further change, given that Aaron Hughes is struggling with a groin injury.
"We don't have too many options but Gary Cahill comes into the reckoning now," he said. "He's fine now after his knee injury."
Whoever fills Villa's back line will have the dubious pleasure of taking on Birmingham City old boy Andrew Johnson, who has scored six Premiership goals for Everton and still appears a good bet to win a penalty.
Having earned seven penalties themselves this season, almost all of them contentious, Villa could hardly moan if they were stung this afternoon. But O'Neill is not worried by the prospect of Johnson taking a tumble.
"I do not have any concern like that, absolutely not," said O'Neill. "I remember him as a kid at Birmingham City playing in the youth team against Leicester and he has gone on to have a terrific career. He's a very good footballer, who has proved great value."
Of more interest to O'Neill is how to penetrate an Everton defence likely to contain his former Celtic charge Alan Stubbs, an old team-mate of Chris Sutton and Petrov. Sutton was left out in midweek because he is not yet ready for three games a week.
Given the poor form of Milan Baros, and how well Sutton led the line against Rovers, he is in line for a recall.