Sharp: Everton players ‘rubbing their hands’

The Everton players will be raring to go when the new Premier League season gets underway, according to club legend Graeme Sharp.

The Toffees kick off their campaign with a home game against Stoke City, before games against Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Manchester United.

Despite the tough start handed to the Toffees, Sharp believes the players will be looking forward to the challenge.

"They are big, big games," he told the club's official website. "You want to start with a home clash – we've got that against Stoke and it will be great for our fans.

"After that, there's a difficult run of fixtures but I actually think it's a good time to play those games. Teams will still be bedding down and, although they will have gone through pre-season, they won't be at their maximum yet.

"For our players, waking up this morning and looking at those fixtures, right away they will be rubbing their hands and thinking: 'bring it on!'

"Everybody wants to get a good start – of course they do – but it's also important to remember that the season doesn't revolve around the opening five or six matches. It's a long campaign.

"The fixtures are the fixtures – there's not a lot you can do about it but the early games are the type you want as players.

"We'll prepare in pre-season and I'm sure Ronald Koeman will have the boys fired up for the exciting start to the season."