Everton vs Stoke 12 Aug 2017: EPL Preview and Predictions

Everton's Wayne Rooney left and Stoke City's Kurt Zouma in action during the English Premier League soccer match at Goodison Park Liverpool. | AP

Rooney scored the first of his Premier League goals for Everton with a sublime strike against Arsenal as a 16-year-old in 2002.

The 41-cap worldwide played just 13 times for his club a year ago 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.

Koeman said that the Ireland midfielder had made a return to training but that Saturday's season opener against Stoke would be too soon for him and fellow midfielder Ross Barkley, who misses out with a groin injury.

The 27-year-old Senegal worldwide has been made surplus to requirements at Goodison Park by Ronald Koeman following heavy investment into his squad over the summer.

He helped start the move that resulted in the winning goal with some neat link-up play with Idrissa Gueye and Sandro Ramirez, before showing all that experience to peel away in the area and guide a free header into the opposite corner. And winger Aaron Lennon will be a game-time decision due to a minor knock suffered in training this week. To make things a bit more complicated for Stoke, they also struggled on the road last season.

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In terms of the Premier League, our first aim must be to improve on last season, when we finished seventh in the final table.

Stoke City, on the other hand, has not had a massive transfer window.

Stoke have been steady in the market and have remained in a stable position.

"We're a decent side at this level and I don't think there was much difference between the two teams today".

A revitalised Wayne Rooney is relishing a new lease of life at Goodison Park after scoring the victor in Everton's 1-0 victory over Stoke City in their opening Premier League game of the season. The Toffees have the better squad on both ends of the pitch, so they are likely to escape with the three points in their league debut.

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