Stoke City Premier League - 12 August 2017

Everton FC news Ronald Koeman says club have received no bids for Ross Barkley and he may stay at Goodison Park

Ronald Koeman says Ross Barkley may not leave Everton after all this summer

Eighty-three days after Stoke City ended 13 in the Premier League we are back to start again.

As he prepared for the visit of Stoke to Goodison on the opening weekend of the season, he offered cautious comparison between his own threadbare forward line and the powerful attacking units that last season's top six can boast. You need one or two struggling in this season and maybe you can make the next step.

Koeman said that the Ireland midfielder had made a return to training but that Saturday's season opener against Stoke would be too soon for him and fellow midfielder Ross Barkley, who misses out with a groin injury.

Manchester City have lavished untold riches on full-backs in the transfer window, but arguably their most important player this season will be captain Kompany.

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"In the Premier League if you think you have an easy start you will pay for that".

"I know the expectations are higher than last season, but I always look to be realistic", said Koeman.

Lukaku hit 25 league goals for Everton last season and, with supply coming from the likes of Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the Belgian should record a similar tally.

Mark Hughes has warned his Stoke side not to get dazzled in the spotlight of the Rooney show. "Clearly, Wayne Rooney has the ability to fill that space", said Hughes, who had a brief spell at Goodison Park towards the end of his playing career.

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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. Let's hope we get an agreement as soon as possible.

"Everton have brought good players in but lost key players too, like (Romelu) Lukaku".

With Everton and Stoke more likely to employ defensively resiliency over a gung-ho approach - thanks in no small part to their lack of a 20+ goal a season striker - the battle in centre midfield will define how this game plays out. They've bought in players, spent money and they are having a go though, so fair play to them. "He is an important player and he is one of the team that will start this Saturday".

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