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Rooney Scores In Goodison Park Return As Everton Defeat Stoke

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A goal landmark beckons for Wayne Rooney

The Toffees lost last season's club top striker Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, and used the money effectively in adding top players, including Rooney. Kick-off time is scheduled at 3 PM UK time.

While appreciating everyone has to face each other over the course of a campaign, having such a barrage of opponents so early in the season, will test the mental fortitude of Ronald Koeman's team.

But the manager concedes that, for all Everton's shrewd business, it may only allow them to stand still, at least in terms of league position.

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.

It was October 15 before Stoke collected their first league win last season, September 26 the season before that and September 29 the campaign before that. The best proof of that is their activity in the transfer market, as they stand pat with the exception of acquiring Bruno Martins Indi and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. This side has improved a lot since last season and they are also at home. The Potters finished with only four wins, five draws and 10 losses on the road.

"We spent money, but everyone is spending money and it is a big competition".

Stoke City will be nearly at full strength ahead of this game with the exception of Ibrahim Afellay.

Bojan Krkic (calf) and Josh Tymon (foot) are doubtful.

Most of Everton's new signings are expected to start, so there is a high chance we can see the league debuts of Rooney, Sandro, Pickford, Keane and Klaassen. Interestingly, both the players are heavily linked with a move away from the club this summer.

It was the former Manchester United captain's first goal for his boyhood club since 2004, and Goodison Park shook to its foundations when the ball hit the back of the net. The Toffees will be favored to collect all three points in the friendly confines of Goodison Park, but expect it to be a close contest.

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