Stoke v Everton Preview
Stoke will be hosting the Toffees at the bet365 Stadium this Wednesday. Everton are in fine form at the moment, having won five out of the last six league matches.
Everton have sealed the signatures of two players during the transfer window. 19-year-old Ademola Lookman has been brought in from Charlton Athletic for £7.5 million. The England U-19 international has scored 7 times for Charlton this season. But the signing that will most probably feature and cause us problems is 27-year-old Morgan Schneiderlin. Coming in from Manchester United for £24 million, he’s signing a four-and-a-half-year deal. He’s expressed excitement about being at Everton after having worked with Ronald Koeman 18 months ago at Southampton. A double swoop from Sunderland led to Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson joining them on permanent deals.
It’s unlikely that Lookman & Morgan will take part in the match, Lookman is a signing for the future and Morgan is lacking match fitness as he’s only played in 11 minutes of Premier League football this season.
We’ve been making some changes around the dressing room as well. Mainly, the one we’ve all been waiting for. The saga surrounding Saido. He’s signed and he’s a Stokie. He’s be included in the match squad, but will he start? I don’t think so. He’s even said himself he needs more fitness. But who cares, if it sets-up to be a debut against West Brom anyway. There also has been an unexpected twist to another saga that’s ravaged Stoke fans in recent weeks. Bojan. He’s signed a 6-month loan with German outfit, Mainz.
The last match between the Toffees and Stoke ended 1-0 to the hosts. A harsh penalty that Given did actually save but ended up heading back into the goal anyway. Stoke were on the defensive foot that game with Everton having 21 shots, where Stoke ended up with 8. Although we did play well, some good build-up play, but we just couldn’t get a goal. That seems to be a reoccurring theme this season.
Everton are unbeaten in the league so far in 2017, with their last loss being 1-0in the Merseyside derby. Recent wins like 3-0 vs Southampton and a 4-0 win against Manchester City shows that Everton are not messing about. They are currently 7th and only 5 points behind 6th placed Manchester United. Mark Hughes will be looking for a win to kick start his target of finishing in 7th this season. We are currently in 9th, as usual, but only 8 points behind the target.
Everton expect Y. Bolasie to return from and ACL Knee injury this week, and hope to play him.
My Predicted XI
Stoke: Grant, Johnson, Shawcross, Indi, Pieters, Allen, Whelan, Shaqiri, Marko, Afellay and Crouch
Everton: Joel, Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori, Coleman, Schneiderlin, Barry, Barkley, Baines, Mirallas and Lukaku
I’ll be looking for Stoke to win this one, we are in much better form than we were the last time we met Everton, and that ended in a 1-0 loss away from home. The only goal being a undeserved penalty leading to a spectacular own goal that Kolo Toure would be proud of.
1-0 to Stoke from me.
Comment with your score predictions and scorer.
Written by Benito Fisher
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