Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Everton vs Stoke 12 Aug 2017: EPL Preview and Predictions

Everton vs Stoke 12 Aug 2017: EPL Preview and Predictions

McCarthy, who has been linked with a move away from Everton, sat out the final pre-season friendly against Sevilla on Sunday with Koeman insisting the former Wigan player wasn't fit.

"Saturday will be a hard game".

The 41-cap global played just 13 times for his club previous year as he had an injury-interrupted campaign, while his appearances for his country last October led to a war of words between Everton and Ireland team management.

Before all that though, the Toffees at least get to start the league season at Goodison Park, versus Stoke City.

For Stoke, Mark Hughes opts for a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Saido Berahino picked to lead the line with support from Xherdan Shaqiri and Bojan Krkic.

Lukaku hit 25 league goals for Everton last season and, with supply coming from the likes of Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the Belgian should record a similar tally.

The opening day of a new football season is always special, but this one is particularly significant for me.

Everton fans will be expecting their side to get off to a good start following a summer of heavy investment. We know we're in for a tough start.

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Everton's last four Premier League campaigns have all begun with a draw, with three of them ending 2-2.

"You have teams like Manchester City and Manchester United who will be stronger than last season, but it is still not the end of the transfer window".

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

The Toffees have scored 30 Premier League goals at home in 2017, more than any other side - and five more than they managed in the whole of 2016.

Should Ake thrive, more Chelsea youngsters could opt to pursue their future elsewhere, with talented striker Dominic Solanke having already left to join Liverpool.

Stoke's only Premier League opening day victory came in 2009, seeing off newly promoted Burnley (D3 L5).

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