Everton could be set for huge relegation boost from Steven Gerrard

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Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa are aiming for three points when they face Everton’s Premier League relegation rivals Burnley on Saturday.

Has there ever been a time Evertonians have got behind Steven Gerrard?

Not in the Premier League anyway. Perhaps during his England days - but never during a top-flight season.

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Gerrard, of course, spent his entire playing career in England as a Liverpool player.

He’s synonymous with the Toffees’ most fierce rivals, having grown up a boyhood Kopite and led them to Champions League glory in 2005.

Gerrard was persistently the pantomime villain whenever he featured in the Merseyside derby.

And he was unsurprisingly given a hostile reception when Aston Villa beat Everton 1- in January - in what was his first visit to Goodison Park as a manager.

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But now Everton fans will - reluctantly - get behind Gerrard’s Villa this weekend amid the relegation battle.

The Toffees are two points adrift of safety but could haul themselves out of the drop zone if results go their way.

Frank Lampard’s troops travel to Leicester City on Sunday afternoon aiming for a first away victory in the league since August.

Everton head into the clash against the backdrop of a 1-0 defeat of third-placed Chelsea and confidence is riding high.

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A day earlier, the Blues will cheer on Villa when they travel to Burnley.

The Clarets, along with Leeds United, are still within striking distance of Everton as the campaign reaches a crescendo.

Burnley have been in magnificent form since replacing long-term manager Sean Dyche with interim boss Mike Jackson, having taken 10 points from just four games.

Villa are 13th and safe from relegation - although Gerrard has demanded that they finish the season as high as possible in the table.

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Speaking before Villa’s 2-0 win over Norwich City last week, he said: “I only look forward and I only look up.

“Tomorrow poses a strong opportunity for us to put in a strong home win. I’m sure the table will look completely different come the final whistle tomorrow if we put in the performance which deserves that.

“I’m concerned about Villa every minute of every day and I’ll continue to be concerned and focused for every minute moving forward.”

Surely, then, Gerrard will have the same attitude ahead of the Burnley clash - and could do Everton a favour.

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