Rooney sets Premier League record after trading Man Utd for Everton

Ross Houston
August 12, 2017

By contrast, Everton gaffer Koeman demands fast starts.

Rooney's header late in the first half - his first competitive goal for the club in 4,869 days - broke the deadlock and set Ronald Koeman's Everton on course for a 1-0 win against Stoke at Goodison Park.

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

Guy Mowbray: "Yes, Everton will miss Romelu Lukaku, but getting five players in for roughly the money from his sale could make them this transfer window's big winners".

Everton are going to be light on the bench for the season opener against Stoke CIty on Saturday.

Everton will grind out a hard-fought win in this one.

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

"They've got a good side and they've spent money from letting good players go, perhaps similar to Southampton a couple of years ago". This side has improved a lot since last season and they are also at home. "Playing Stoke City is always a battle, home or away".

Stoke will not be the easiest of games for Everton to start off their Premier League campaign, with the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Darren Fletcher, however, they will be confident they can get the job done in front of their own supporters.

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

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

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

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.

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

Mark Hughes has also revealed Saido Berahino is in great shape and could start. His last win was in 2009 as Manchester City manager.

With the benefit of Europa League football in their legs already, expect them to be flying today.

That move, honed in pre-season, almost paid dividends as Everton new boy Pickford had to tip his early cross around the post, with former Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen then having attempts blocked as the hosts stuttered.

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