Monday, 11 December, 2017

Wayne Rooney revels in goal-scoring return to Everton blue

Davy Klaassen of Everton is tackled by Steven N'Zonzi of Sevilla during a pre-season friendly match between Everton and Sevilla at Goodison Park BT Sport's Premier League 2017/18 season preview: Watford
Spencer Simpson | 13 August, 2017, 00:45

In truth, we'll probably have a decent idea of how realistic this ambition is, by the end of September.

"In hard moments, he showed his experience". I think we were good value and we needed to get to half-time.

"We've got some tough fixtures coming up and it was important we got off to a good start and that will give us all confidence going into the next game".

Pickford's save preserved a clean sheet on his first Premier League appearance for Everton, a feat the 23-year-old also achieved on competitive debut in the Europa League. Stoke City will provide the opposition, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be an easy game - every team is hyped for the start of a new league campaign.

Stoke City will be nearly at full strength ahead of this game with the exception of Ibrahim Afellay.

Bojan Krkic (calf) and Josh Tymon (foot) are doubtful.

Everton are favoured to win on Saturday, with a draw being the second most likely outcome.

Only once in Mark Hughes' four seasons as boss have the Potters got three points on the board in August and that was in 2013.

Neil Swarbrick will referee today's game.

The overall record favours Everton, as they have registered 8W 5L and 6D in 19 matches against Stoke. Kick-off time is scheduled at 3 PM UK time.

While the club's fans are keen to see the arrival of a few more players to shoulder the attacking responsibilities, we for one, believe that the Dutchman is already ahead of the market having signed a very underrated yet exciting entity in the form of former Barcelona striker Sandro Ramirez.

Everton midfielder James McCarthy will miss out the Premier League opener against Stoke City as he continues his recovery from a knee injury. "He is an important player and he is one of the team that will start this Saturday".

Despite making some high profile signings such as Wayne Rooney and highly-rated defender, Michael Keane, Koeman feels as it's yet not enough to compete with the Premier League's big boys.

Predicted Stoke Starting Lineup: Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Zouma, Pieters; Fletcher, Allen; Sobhi, Berahino, Shaqiri; Diouf. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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