Date: 12th August 2017 at 10:10am
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There’s not too much earth shattering, certainly surprising, by the revelation from Ronald Koeman that Wayne Rooney will start against Stoke this afternoon.

It was a given really, wasn’t it?

Had Rooney not been involved against Stoke from the off at Goodison Park, making his first Premier League appearance for Everton in 13 years, that would have been a shock.

Koeman told the Official Website: ‘Wayne is back and he is showing his quality to the players. He is an important player and he is one of the team that will start this Saturday.’

Having a game at Goodison to start the season pleases Koeman and he’s looking to give the home faithful, who will again offer the Blues great support in numbers, something to cheer about in the campaign ahead and all are ready for this.

‘We know at home that we have that fantastic support and hopefully we can get a good win this Saturday. It is always better to start at home than away. I think we have a little advantage having played two important games in Europa League qualifying,’ said Koeman. ‘Everybody is looking forward to the start of the Premier League and is ready.’

Yes, Rooney will start but Everton will be missing Seamus Coleman, Yannick Bolasie and Ramiro Funes Mori, due to long-term injuries as we know.

Those remaining are well motivated for Stoke with Ross Barkley, who could yet have a future at Goodison, and James McCarthy back in training but this weekend will come too soon for the Blues midfielders.

Koeman said: ‘It really starts this weekend and everyone is looking forward to it. You smell and feel the motivation of the players to start this Saturday. That is a good signal for everybody.

Concluding: We still have three players out on long-term injuries. Ross and James are back in training but they are still not available for the weekend. Maybe after that, yes. The rest are ready to start.’

Meanwhile, Coleman has increased his efforts to make his playing return by doing some outdoor work at Finch Farm this week.

The Official Website said: ‘The defender went through running exercises with Club medical staff at the Blues’ training ground as he continues his recovery.’

It was also confirmed Coleman had made a donation to the Everton In The Community’s Home Is Where The Heart Is Campaign.

‘Coleman this week donated £7,680 to Everton In The Community’s Home Is Where The Heart Is Campaign after fans cycled 230 miles from Sligo to Goodison in June to help raise funds,’ the club added. ‘The donation helped hit the target of £60,000 – the same amount the Blues paid for Coleman when he joined from Sligo Rovers in 2009.’

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