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Everton vs Stoke 12 Aug 2017: EPL Preview and Predictions

12 Août 2017

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Morgan Schneiderlin, Idrissa Gueye and Leighton Baines are joined in the middle of the park by Davy Klaassen on his debut, while Jordan Pickford also gets his first run-out between the sticks.

Ronald Koeman is still targeting further additions as negotiations continue with Swansea over £50m-rated playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson.

This would then presumably grease the wheels of any Ross Barkley transfer, with Everton already climbing down from their £50m asking price to something a tad bit more reasonable, like, say, £30m. "That is what we would like to show to everybody".

"But of course it is hard with the big clubs".

A sense of excitement in July when seven players were recruited for in excess of £100 million has been compromised by the sale of Romelu Lukaku.

Everton will hope to get off to a good start at home as they seek to finally qualify for the Champions League.

The Everton fans have been brilliant since the news of my return was announced.

Ake excelled in a loan spell for Eddie Howe's side last season and the Netherlands worldwide could prove Antonio Conte wrong in allowing him to leave. There is always a turnover of players at this stage and you don't know until you start playing where you are.

So here we are - the moment has finally arrived for Everton to kick off a highly anticipated Premier League campaign.

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Ross Barkley and James McCarthy are both out with groin and knee injuries respectively.

"We still have three players out on long-term injuries in Seamus Coleman, Yannick Bolasie and Ramiro Funes Mori, but they are doing well", Koeman told the club's official website.

Stephen Ireland is "a matter of weeks" away from a return while Ibrahim Afellay is still sidelined, having undergone knee surgery.

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.

The striker looks to have the physicality and keen eye for goal to thrive in the Premier League, but does he have the right mentality?

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

As for the visitors, Mark Hughes' Stoke City side finished six places and 17 points worse off than Everton in the division last season, picking up only four wins from 19 away from home. His last win was in 2009 as Manchester City manager.

The former Manchester United skipper starts up front alongside fellow summer arrival Sandro Ramirez in a 3-5-2 formation.

Everton vs Stoke 12 Aug 2017: EPL Preview and Predictions