March 18, 2018

Knee injury rules James McCarthy out of Everton opener

12 August 2017, 07:55 | Joan Schultz

Wayne Rooney was the star of the show on his return to Everton

Wayne Rooney was the star of the show on his return to Everton

"I expected to have offers because he made the decision not to sign a new contract but, if there is no interest, then he will stay and be part of the team and the best XI will start the game".

"We still have three players out on long-term injuries in Seamus Coleman, Yannick Bolasie and Ramiro Funes Mori, but they are doing well", Koeman told the club's official website.

As it was, referee Craig Pawson allowed the controversial strike to stand after former striker Romelu Lukaku was deemed not to have been interfering with play, and the two sides held out for a point apiece after a tetchy second 45 minutes.

Everton have been busy too, bringing in Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Wayne Rooney, Sandro Ramirez and Davy Klaasen.

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.

For visitors Stoke, the only players who will miss out are Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay who are both long term absentees.

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Rooney has now been involved in 300 Premier League goals - 199 scored himself and 101 assists.

Wayne Rooney is set to make his first start for Everton in 13 years after re-joining from Manchester United.

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

It is believed, Newcastle United are leading the chase to entice the Scottish-born player away from Merseyside, though local reports suggest Everton will only consider a sale if their £25m valuation is met.

Mark Hughes has warned his Stoke side not to get dazzled in the spotlight of the Rooney show. They are a solid team and should be good for a run in the Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup, but I can't see them breaking into the top six because their squad is not as strong as those above. We followed Stoke in pre-season, they had a lot of games.

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