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Everton vs Stoke City – Match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction

Jake Jackman




Everton have had a busy summer and they are heading into the opening weekend in good spirits ahead of a match against Stoke City. They will have ambitions of breaking into the top six, but they may find that difficult to do given the strength of the teams that finished above them last season. On the other hand, the visitors will be looking to progress during the coming campaign after an underwhelming couple of years.

The big news that came out of Goodison Park this summer was the return of Wayne Rooney. The forward returned to his boyhood club and he will be hoping to end his campaign on a high back in Merseyside. It will be a lot of pressure to replace Romelu Lukaku, but he will relish the challenge. They have been one of the leading spenders and if they start strongly, they could be difficult to stop.

Mark Hughes needs to start the season well, otherwise he could quickly find himself out of a job. He is one of the longest serving managers in the Premier League, but Stoke have gone stale in recent years and a change could be required to propel them up the league table. The sale of Marko Arnautovic was a blow, but Kurt Zouma arrives in what should be a good loan deal. The Potters have a lot of talent, but their problem has been delivering consistency.

Pre-season form

The Toffees managed to qualify from their Europa League tie against Ruzomberok. The two performances weren’t excellent, but they got the job done and qualified for the final qualifying round. In terms of friendlies, they got a good win over FC Twente, but they didn’t play any top opposition.

Stoke City had a mixed pre-season, but they did test themselves against good opposition teams, which should have provided them with useful preparation. Last weekend, they beat RB Leipzig and delivered an assured performance.

Predicted line-ups

Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen, Wayne Rooney and Sandro are all in line to make their Premier League debuts for the club. Cuco Martina is another new signing that could feature.

Stoke could start with a 3-4-2-1 formation after using it against Leipzig. Mame Biram Diouf could start as a makeshift right wing-back, while Sadio Berahino could be the striker to start the season.

Team News

Aaron Lennon is a doubt ahead of the new season. James McCarthy and Ross Barkley are unlikely to feature until the end of the month. Yannick Bolasie, Ramiro Funes Mori and Seamus Coleman are on the long-term injury list.

Bojan has returned to the club, but he is suffering with a calf injury. Josh Tymon, Ibrahim Afellay and Stephen Ireland are other players that are unlikely to feature this weekend.

Score Prediction: Everton 2-1 Stoke City

It will be difficult for Everton at the start of the season as they have signed a lot of new players and they need time to gel as a team. They didn’t have a great number of friendlies, but they have played two competitive fixtures and that should give them an edge when it comes to fitness. Stoke are not looking like a great team and Hughes’ time at the club is coming to an end. The Toffees should have enough to earn the three points.

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

English Premier League

Everton must secure Frank Fabra signing before World Cup

The Colombian is set to star at the World Cup with his nation.



Photo: Getty Images

Everton are currently being linked with a move for Colombian left-back Frank Fabra. According to Argentine radio station El Crack Deportivothe 27-year-old is being considered as the left-back option Everton need.

Everton have been lacking in the department this season. With Leighton Baines suffering injury trouble throughout the campaign, natural right-back Cuco Martina has done his best in the role. Everton thoroughly need a new left-back and Fabra is an impressive option.

(Photo by Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images)

The Boca Juniors defender was linked with Manchester United and Chelsea by Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio in 2016. A powerful full-back, he has all it takes to be a star in European football.

Everton are, therefore right, to be targeting the Boca star.  However, the Toffees must try to wrap up any potential deal before the World Cup in Russia this summer.

Fabra is looking increasingly likely to be Colombia’s first-choice at the competition. Pablo Armero has had his day and Fabra is the popular choice to play the role of left-back or left wing-back.

Colombia, who are in Group H with Japan, Poland and Senegal, have high hopes of going far in the competition. Four years ago they suffered a narrow quarter-final exit at the hands of Brazil.

(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Fabra will no doubt be key to any success that Colombia have in the competition and therefore will catch the eye.

Everton will be fully aware what a top World Cup performance can do to a player’s value. If the Toffees want to bring in Fabra doing so before the Russia World Cup could end up being a worthwhile cost-cutting exercise.

Regardless, Everton fans will just be pleased to hear that the club are starting to identify potential options to strengthen one of their weakest positions on the field, even if it is not a household name.

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English Premier League

Ronald Koeman admits he wanted Memphis Depay at Everton

But would Everton have benefited from his arrival?



Ronald Koeman is about to kickstart his managerial career with the Dutch national team. It is his first role since getting sacked by Everton and his first foray into international management. Speaking about his new role he discussed the former Manchester United winger Memphis Depay.

Speaking to the press, as reported by Football Oranje, Koeman revealed that he had tried to convince Depay to join Everton whilst he was manager at Goodison Park:

“I invited him to my home last year, when I wanted to get him to Everton. That did not work, he went to Lyon.”

during the Netherlands Training session held at KNVB Sportcentrum on March 20, 2018 in Zeist, Netherlands. The Netherlands will play England in a International Friendly match on March 23 in the Amsterdam ArenA.

Depay was with Manchester United at the time, where he had struggled to live up to his potential. Instead of joining Everton he headed to Lyon in France in a deal reported by the Telegraph to be worth £16 million.

So have Everton missed out?

Depay’s struggles to settle in English football are well known. Since his move to France things have certainly improved. Depay has scored 18 goals since his move to France. However, considering he scored 28 goals in his final season at PSV prior to his United switch it is still not a massive amount.

ZEIST, NETHERLANDS – MARCH 20: Netherlands Head coach, Ronald Koeman walks out for the Netherlands Training session held at KNVB Sportcentrum on March 20, 2018 in Zeist, Netherlands. The Netherlands will play England in a International Friendly match on March 23 in the Amsterdam ArenA. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

In the time he has been in France those 18 goals have come from 61 games. His form has been good at Lyon but certainly not to the standard many expected of him when he made the move to Manchester United.

That said, £16 million today in today’s market is not a lot of money. Looking at Everton’s team, having Depay playing from the left side would have been a massive bonus for Koeman, and now for Sam Allardyce.

Depay still has plenty to improve upon and hopefully Koeman can get the best out of him during his time as the Netherlands boss.

As for Everton, they did not get their man and paid a lot more for the man he would be battling for first-team football Yannick Bolasie – who has not yet been a hit at Goodison Park.

So, all things considered, Everton probably should wish Koeman had managed to convince Depay into a Merseyside switch last January.

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Everton signing Rodrigo at £35m would undermine Cenk Tosun position

The Spaniard has been linked with a move to Everton over the weekend.



Photo: Getty Images

Reports today have suggested that Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Brighton and Hove Albion are all keeping tabs on Valencia striker Rodrigo.

Calciomercato claim Rodrigo is wanted by all three clubs who are looking to bolster their attacking options.

The report also mentions his whopping €120 million (£105.4 million) release clause. Everton, though, are expected to start their bidding at around €40 million (£35 million).

(Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Rodrigo is a fine striker. This season the Spanish international has netted 16 goals in 35 games for Valencia and he could head to the World Cup with Spain in the summer.

But, for Everton, his signing would only further undermine the man they finally brought in to replace Romelu Lukaku in January.

It has not been plain sailing for Turkish striker Cenk Tosun since his Goodison Park arrival. Signed for a fee reported to be in the region of £27 million by the BBC, Tosun has had to wait for his chance under Sam Allardyce.

That tactic now appears to be paying off dividends with Tosun scoring four goals in his last three games for the Toffees.

Next season, after a full pre-season schedule, Tosun will rightfully expect to be the undisputed starting striker at Everton.

No doubt, the Merseyside club could look to bring in other strikers, but splashing out this amount on a player like Rodrigo would send the wrong message to Tosun.

Rodrigo, who spent time on loan at Bolton Wanderers earlier in his career, will not be willing to play second fiddle to Tosun. Everton will also not want to pay that sort of money for him if that’s the case.

Everton should instead give Tosun a try. With the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Oumar Niasse and Ademola Lookman in reserve, they would have a good striking department without any recruits.

Spending so much money on Rodrigo would just seem a lavish expense for a side that would do better bringing in someone lower key, and lower priced.

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