Predicted Everton lineup against Stoke City; six new signings to start

Adjust Comment Print

Wayne Rooney makes his first Premier League start for Everton in 13 years as they welcome Stoke City to Goodison Park this afternoon.

Everton manager Koeman believes Barkley will leave Goodison Park this summer but insists the club will not be hostage to a deliberately late, undervalued offer for the midfielder.

Hughes, meanwhile, will hope that his side can spring an opening day upset and get themselves off to a better start than last season when it took them until October to register their first league win.

Everton will grind out a hard-fought win in this one. The end of the transfer window is more realistic to speak of targets and what is possible.

"In the Premier League if you think you have an easy start you will pay for that".

"Like everybody knows we are still working on some targets and that is hard, but if we can do the business we want I think we are stronger than last season".

Everton also signed Sandro Ramirez from Malaga, who scored an impressive 14 goals in 30 appearances last season.

Inter try to end Man United's Ivan Perisic hopes
Instead they were only able to name one new face, Lindelof, in their squad before Lukaku joined up after they arrived in the US. Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is still hoping to secure a fourth signing before the transfer window shuts on August 31.

Potters boss Mark Hughes has been trying to get the 25-year-old centre-half back to the bet365 Stadium on a permanent basis following his successful loan spell last season.

If Kompany stays fit, City's status as Premier League favourites looks understandable but if he gets injured again, it might not matter how many goals they score at the other end.

And - against a Stoke side that are historically bad starters - a home win looks a good bet for Rooney and Ronald Koeman's men. Everton have enjoyed a positive head-to-head record against the Potters too.

With Everton and Stoke more likely to employ defensively resiliency over a gung-ho approach - thanks in no small part to their lack of a 20+ goal a season striker - the battle in centre midfield will define how this game plays out.

"They've got a good side and they've spent money from letting good players go, perhaps similar to Southampton a couple of years ago". There is always a turnover of players at this stage and you don't know until you start playing where you are.

It's what they have lost that is troubling.