Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Premier League updates from Goodison Park

Gylfi Sigurdsson of Swansea City. Stu Forster  Getty Images Gylfi Sigurdsson of Swansea City. Stu Forster Getty Images
Damon Campbell | 13 August, 2017, 01:09

Optimism and expectations are rising at Goodison Park, and although Koeman is not making bold promises about breaking into the Premier League's top six, the Dutchman is confident. Everton have enjoyed a positive head-to-head record against the Potters too.

"They've got a good side and they've spent money from letting good players go, perhaps similar to Southampton a couple of years ago".

"We have the experience of what we need to pay for players who came here and had one year of contract", Koeman told reporters.

"You have teams like Manchester City and Manchester United who will be stronger than last season, but it is still not the end of the transfer window".

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 have brought in Kurt Zouma on loan and Darren Fletcher but they look weaker heading into this campaign. There is always a turnover of players at this stage and you don't know until you start playing where you are.

"Everybody is looking forward to the start of the Premier League and is ready".

Only Frank Lampard and Alan Shearer (8) have scored more goals on Premier League opening day than Rooney (7).

Winning ticket sold for Friday's $393 million Mega Millions drawing
The payout is the largest in almost a year and the fifth largest in the game's 15-year history, according to lottery officials. The odds of winning a jackpot were abysmal - one in 258.9 million for Mega Millions, and one in 292.2 million for Powerball.

Jordan Matthews Traded to the Bills
The Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams have completed a trade that sends wide receiver Sammy Watkins to Southern California. In exchange for Darby, the Bills will receive wide receiver Jordan Matthews and the Eagles' 2018 third round pick.

How will Rafa Benitez's Newcastle fare back in the Premier League?
Deportivo La Coruna , who sold Perez to Arsenal for £17m only a year ago, are keen to bring the 28-year-old back to La Liga. We know what we need (in the transfer market) and we will try to do this until the end of the window.

Stoke are a classic mid-table Premier League club.

Stoke could complete the signing of Bruno Martins Indi before the game but it will not be done in time for him to feature.

Everton will hope to get off to a good start at home as they seek to finally qualify for the Champions League.

Veteran Stoke striker Peter Crouch has been involved in 10 goals against Everton in his Premier League career (six goals, four assists) - only against Aston Villa (11) has he been involved in more.

But in Rooney's early Everton outings he has appeared leaden and again unsure of his best position, failing to score in either leg of their Europa League qualifier win against Ruzomberok. "I heard some rumours that the talks broke down but we are still in negotiations with Swansea".

It's what they have lost that is troubling.

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