Everton vs Stoke 12 Aug 2017: EPL Preview and Predictions

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

After moving back to Everton this summer, the chance to pull on the Blue shirt again and play at Goodison Park in the Premier League, in front of my family and friends, really excites me, which is why our opening game against Stoke can not come soon enough.

Quiet for much of the opening 45 minutes, the homegrown hero exploded into life with a well-taken victor in first-half stoppage time.

"Okay, I believe if we get the picture of the last season we are stronger but being stronger than last season does not mean you will win against the big six because they also will be more strong than last season".

Everton are still looking to sign Swansea's talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson, who have valued the Iceland global at £50m.

Rooney's name had been cheered to the rafters when the Everton team, featuring fellow debutants Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez, was read out before kick-off.

They are tasked with the giant responsibility of replacing Romelu Lukaku.

Ireland midfielder Glenn Whelan has been their steadying influence in midfield while Marko Arnautovic and Jon Walters could be relied upon for goals but they are all gone.

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In stoppage-time, Rooney once again took possession in midfield, quickly moving the ball wide before making a perfectly-time burst forward.

The 31-year-old, who left the club for Manchester United in 2004, found space in the area to head a Dominic Calvert-Lewin cross past Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland before the break.

Sprinting towards the crowd in delight, Rooney slid to the turf to celebrate before he was mobbed by jubilant team-mates.

That gap of 4,869 days is the longest between goals for the same club in the Premier League.

Calvert-Lewin almost doubled Everton's lead when he robbed Zouma and cut into the penalty area for a drive that Butland pushed away.

The second half was more entertaining with Mark Hughes throwing on Peter Crouch and new signing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in the closing stages in search of a goal.

Everton's net spend is, in fact, still barely over £1 million, although £50 million-rated Gyfli Sigurdsson, and another big-name striker, would greatly increase that figure if Koeman signs them before the window closes.

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