It's hard to replace Lukaku, Everton Boss Koeman says

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Now we need to show that today.

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.

"It is hard to replace Romelu Lukaku", he said in Thursday's press conference.

Everton are going to be light on the bench for the season opener against Stoke CIty on Saturday.

Ronald Koeman might find having Rooney back is an unwanted headache this season as he tries to replace the guaranteed goals of Lukaku.

The former Manchester United star came through the ranks of their academy and has continued to build upon his success, making him one of the best England products of the current generation. They have had a busy summer, signing seven players.

Ake excelled in a loan spell for Eddie Howe's side last season and the Netherlands global could prove Antonio Conte wrong in allowing him to leave. The team will open their season at home against Stoke City in what should be a good game.

Stoke are a classic mid-table Premier League club.

Ross Barkley and James McCarthy are both out with groin and knee injuries respectively.

For Stoke, Hughes must do without Stephen Ireland (broken leg) and Ibrahim Afellay (knee) for the trip to Goodison Park.

The Toffees have top-four ambitions and will hope to start with three points this weekend.

The last duel between these two teams came back in February when veteran striker Peter Crouch netted his 100th Premier League goal.

Stoke are embarking on their 10th consecutive Premier League season. His last win was in 2009 as Manchester City manager.

Newcastle United are thought to be leading the chase to entice the Scottish-born player away from Merseyside, though local reports suggest Everton will only consider a sale if their £25m valuation is met.

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.

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