Knee injury rules James McCarthy out of Everton opener

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Koeman clearly no longer considers returning star Wayne Rooney as an out and out striker and, rather, the Dutchman is looking for a collective effort to replace Lukaku's prodigious output.

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

After a busy summer in the transfer market - manager Ronald Koeman has made seven new signings so far and there could be more to follow before the transfer window closes - our fans are excited about the season ahead, and rightly so.

With the start of the new English Premier League season this weekend, every one of the 20 teams including the newly promoted sides (Newcastle, Brighton and Huddersfield) would have set a target for the upcoming season. This should make things too hard for Stoke City.

It was the Toffees' best move of the match - one Rooney was twice involved in before adding the finishing touch.

This is a tough opening game for the Potters but, even if they make another bad start, I am never seriously anxious about Stoke - whenever I have done in the past they always start winning.


"I don't say impossible, but 25 goals is a lot and we have to find other ways and productivity from other players and we like to bring in other players in".

By the time Dominic Calvert-Lewin swung over a pin-point cross, Rooney had eluded the Stoke defence so completely that he had the freedom of the penalty area to bury a clinical header past Butland from 10 yards.

The forward started tenaciously and could have found himself in the book for a late tackle on former United team-mate Darren Fletcher, but Rooney's desire to track back and help his side defensively also proved invaluable against a direct Stoke threat.

The Potters have won away from home just twice in 2017.

Having enjoyed a record-breaking, medal-laden stint at Old Trafford, the 31-year-old this summer returned to Goodison Park in search of regular first-team football.

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