Barnsley vs Everton Preview: Koeman looks to secure first Blues win

Everton will hope to regain fans love as they face newly promoted Championship side Barnsley in their first official pre-season game.

Barnsley vs Everton Preview: Koeman looks to secure first Blues win
John Stones will be unavailable for a return against his former club | Credit: Getty

Everton will come up against Barnsley in their first game under new manager, Ronald Koeman, who will be aiming to get the fans on his side with an early win.

Despite the Toffees having already competed once against Czech side Jablonec during their stay at an Austrian training camp, Barnsley is the first of five official fixtures that Everton have organised in their run up to the Premier League kick-off.

Everton look to show superiority once more

The two clubs in contention today have only played each other a total of three times in their combined 267 year history, with Everton coming out on top twice, with the third being a draw.

No less than four goals have been scored in any game between the Yorkshire club and their rivals today, with 18 goals finding the net in a total of roughly 300 minutes.

An enthralling 3-5 victory for the Blues was produced last time the sides played, with extra-time being needed to decide the eventual winner; the visitors trailed 2-0 and 3-2 in last season's Capital One Cup game, before Romelu Lukaku​'s brace ensured Everton's passage into the next round of the competition.

Lukaku - last time out's match winner - is also unavailable | Photo: Getty Images
Lukaku - last time out's match winner - is also unavailable | Photo: Getty Images

Barnsley look confident however, with Paul Heckingbottom's summer signings in striker's Tom Bradshaw, Elliot Lee and Stefan Payne, midfielder George Moncur and full-back Andy Yiadom all helping the newly promoted Championship side succeed in games against Guiseley, Cheltenham Town and Weston-super-Mare.

​Stones unavailable for Barnsley return

​Unfortunately for Everton, former Tykes' defender John Stones will not be available for selection after he picked up a minor knock in training. This pre-season campaign could be Stones' last for Everton as there is increasing speculation that the England international is looking for a move away from Goodison, with Manchester City leading the chase for his signature.

John Stones moved from Barnsley to Everton in 2013. | Photo: Getty Images
John Stones moved from Barnsley to Everton in 2013. | Photo: Getty Images

Stones' compatriot and former Yorkshire rival, Phil Jagielka, is also out for today's game after he has reportedly suffered a reoccurrence of the hamstring problem that kept him out of the Everton first team for the last few weeks of Roberto Martinez's reign.

Hero of last season's fixture, Romelu Lukaku will also be missing due to the striker being on an extended holiday in Miami after he helped his Belgium side reach the quarter-finals of the European Championships in France last month. 

The Republic of Ireland trio in James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman and Aiden McGeady are all now available, although it is uncertain as to whether they will feature, whilst Shani Tarashaj could make his first appearance for the club after signing in January and returning to Grasshopper in Switzerland to finish the season.