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News Worms


Ronald Koeman: Everton improvement is impossible in Premier League this year

Ronald Koeman: Everton improvement is impossible in Premier League this year

Mark Hughes has brought five players into his first team squad during the summer, wrapping up the £7m return of Bruno Martins Indi on a permanent basis only yesterday - and too late to play a part at Goodison Park today.

Everton and Stoke clash at Goodison Park on Saturday in the pair's opening match of the 2017/18 Premier League season.

Morata contributed 15 LaLiga goals despite starting only 14 league games for Madrid last season and Chelsea need him to make an immediate impact, with star man Eden Hazard out for the opening weeks as he recovers from an ankle injury.

But Koeman reflected on the top sides' far superior attack forces, saying: "Compare that to the big teams and what they have on the bench - or even in the stands - it is a big difference to Everton".

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.

He said: "The end of the transfer window is more realistic to speak about targets and what is possible".

Everton are a continual top-half Premier League club, but can not seem to break into the top four.

"I know that expectations are higher than last season", Koeman told the Mirror.

Lukaku hit 25 league goals for Everton last season and, with supply coming from the likes of Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the Belgian should record a similar tally. "And if you think it's a really tough start maybe it is different because everybody is not on his best at this stage of the season, the end of the pre-season".

"We know at home that we have that fantastic support and hopefully we can get a good win this Saturday".

Hughes is under no illusions that it will be a hard early test for his team. They've bought in players, spent money and they are having a go though, so fair play to them.

It's what they have lost that is troubling.

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.

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