Saturday, 16 December, 2017

Prediction: Everton vs Stoke City

Kieran Dowell celebrates a preseason goal Kieran Dowell celebrates a preseason goal
Angelica Greene | 13 August, 2017, 00:41

Rooney's move back to his boyhood club, after 13 successful years at Manchester United, divided opinion between those who viewed it as a welcome romantic return and those who felt he was not the right player for Koeman's new-look side.

As Stoke exhausted and Everton controlled the lion's share of the possession, Rooney began to thread forward-thinking ideas together and certainly looked more at ease with himself - the goal massively helping his confidence levels.

The 31-year-old's all-round display only improved after half-time, working hard in possession and out of it - leading to high praise from manager Ronald Koeman.

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

That's because the Toffees play Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in four of their opening six league games.

"He was clever, he was comfortable on the ball. That's encouraging for us, we know we're a good side with good players, we just need a little bit more of a cutting edge and that ability to take chances if they are few and far between in games which it was today". "But we got the three points and that is really important". While he can also play on the flanks when required by his manager, he has shown that he is the most effective when deployed as a central forward.

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

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

"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".

"Maybe a little bit more nervous than normally they are and also the way Stoke play, defending-wise they make it hard".

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

"Like I said, the performance was fine, the result could have been better and based on the performance, I thought we deserved better". "That was always the worry and that's how it has panned out".

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