Everton vs Stoke City Tips and Odds - EPL Matchweek 1

Rachel Hardy
August 13, 2017

And the Toffees are not finished there, as negotiations continue with Swansea over B£50m-rated playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Toffees will be favored to collect all three points in the friendly confines of Goodison Park, but expect it to be a close contest.

It was October 15 before Stoke collected their first league win last season, September 26 the season before that and September 29 the campaign before that. "That is what we would like to show to everybody".

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

Chelsea and Manchester United have both put their faith in big-money strikers as they bid to win the Premier League title this season.

"It is hard still because we really have one striker". They have had a busy summer, signing seven players.

Manchester City have lavished untold riches on full-backs in the transfer window, but arguably their most important player this season will be captain Kompany.

"We spent money, but everyone is spending money and it is a big competition".

Everton also signed Sandro Ramirez from Malaga, who scored an impressive 14 goals in 30 appearances last season. They are tasked with the giant responsibility of replacing Romelu Lukaku. I don't say impossible but 25 goals is a lot and we need to find other ways. "We brought some players in but we would like to bring some more in".

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Wayne Rooney is set to make his first Premier League start for Everton in 13 years in Saturday's season opener against Stoke at Goodison Park.

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? "And if you think it's a really tough start maybe it is different because everybody is not on his best at this stage of the season, the end of the pre-season".

"A hard game, Stoke City is always a battle", he remarked. But, given the Belgian's experience, and this being the opening game of the season, the 29-year-old just might get the nod ahead of the duo.

And - against a Stoke side that are historically bad starters - a home win looks a good bet for Rooney and Ronald Koeman's men.

"It's one that's frustrated a lot of people, not least myself, but now it's likely to get done unless there's any last-minute hitches, but we don't anticipate any". Everton have enjoyed a positive head-to-head record against the Potters too.

Hughes is under no illusions that it will be a hard early test for his team.

It's what they have lost that is troubling. There is always a turnover of players at this stage and you don't know until you start playing where you are.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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