Everton had a solid start to life under Ronald Koeman. The Koeman era started at Goodison with an impressive 1-1 draw against Spurs. The Toffees came back from behind against West Brom last weekend and won the game 2-1 as Romelu Lukaku, on his own, changed the game last weekend and looks all set to stay at Goodison Park. An emphatic 4-0 win in the midweek against Yeovil Town in the League Cup has added further momentum to the side making them favourites when they host Stoke City today.
Everton have not impressed against Stoke in recent years. However, Mark Hughes’ Stoke City are not particularly in good shape right now having started their campaign a bit sluggishly. The Potters have collected just one point from two games this season. They are on the back of a heavy 1-4 loss against Manchester City after starting their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Premier League new boys Middlesbrough. Stoke had a 4-0 win against Stevenage in the League Cup in the midweek and now they will be keen to get their Premier League campaign up and running.
Seamus Coleman and Muhamed Besic are on the sidelines with injuries. James McCarthy, Darron Gibson and Tom Cleverley are all doubtful for the game as they lack match fitness.
Jack Butland remains sidelined for Stoke but Xherdan Shaqiri could return. Defender Glen Johnson is also expected to miss the next few weeks as he continues his recovery from a thigh muscle strain. Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay are both long-term absentees.
Tactical Setups and Predicted Lineups
Everton are likely to switch to back four as Ashley Williams is now available for selection. We expect the Toffees to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Maarten Stekelenburg will start under the bar behind the back four of Holgate, Williams, Jagielka and Baines. Gueye will start in the middle of the part alongside Barry. Barkley will start as the number ten with Mirallas and Bolasie on the flanks. Romelu Lukaku is start up front for the Toffees.
Predicted XI: Stekelenburg; Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines; Gueye, Barry; Mirallas, Barkley, Bolasie; Lukaku
Stoke City are likely to stick to 4-3-3. With Butland out injured, Shay Given should start under the bar. We expect the back four to be Bardsley, Wollscheid, Shawcross and Pieters. Glenn Whelan is likely to make his 250th Premier League appearance as he starts in defensive midfield for the Potters. Imbula and Allen are likely to start as the two box to box midfielders. Shaqiri, is he passes a late fitness test, will start on the right flank while Arnautovic is an assured starter on the left. Bojan Krkic is likely to lead the line although Crouch is also a possibility after his hat-trick in midweek against Stevenage.
Predicted XI: Given; Bardsley, Wollscheid, Shawcross, Pieters; Allen, Whelan, Imbula; Shaqiri, Bojan, Arnautovic
We predict a 2-2 draw.