Everton welcome Stoke City to the Goodison Park as they look to build on their narrow win against West Bromwich Albion. Ronald Koeman had taken over at Everton amidst a sense of frustration at the club due to predecessor Roberto Martinez’s idealistic approach to football which was pulling Everton back through the decades. Koeman took the controversial decision to leave Southampton and join the Toffees and he has been working round the clock to mould the team into a structure wherein they will be best placed to carry out his vision. Everton started off with a difficult match-up against last year’s 3rd placed team and held on to salvage a draw after late heroics from their new keeper Marten Stekelenburg. With Koeman signing players and the process of integrating them taking the usual amount of time, the Toffees boss would have been happy to come away with a win at the Hawthorns.
They will be facing Stoke City on Saturday who are on the prowl for their first win. After an underwhelming performance against newly promoted Boro where they earned a draw, they were comprehensively beaten by Pep Guardiola-led Manchester City 4-1 and Mark Hughes will be desperate for a turnaround against Everton. The match is likely to be a close encounter but Everton will fancy their chances of a second successive win.
HERE IS THE PREDICTED EVERTON LINE-UP VS STOKE CITY (4-2-3-1)
Marten Stekelenburg will be in goal and look to carry on his impressive form between the sticks. Koeman might shift to a four-man backline with the apparent difficulty in implementing the 3-4-2-1 system as of yet. That will see Holgate line up at right-back with a central defensive pairing of Williams and Jagielka. Leighton Baines will look to be his calm and assured self at left-back.
Idrissa Gueye has been impressive thus far and is looking to be a key component in the team for the foreseeable future. He will most likely be partnered by Barry. Ross Barkley will be looking to pull the strings in the No.10 role.
Ronald Koeman has options out wide and is yet to close in on either his best team or the best formation. He might go with the settled option of Mirallas on the left-flank and Gerard Deulofeu on the right. Mirallas will look to impress the boss and hope to earn regular game time this season. Bolasie offers strong competition on the flanks to both of them. And up top Koeman would want Romelu Lukaku to be match fit in time for his first start of the season.