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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Tim Howard says Cristiano Ronaldo is a key figure in football's ongoing evolution.

Everton play Ronaldo's Real Madrid on Saturday (5pm in LA, 1am Sunday morning UK time) and the Blues custodian cited the Portugal star his for trailblazing attacking technique.

As a goalkeeper Howard has had to adapt to the way forwards like the former Manchester United man play the game.

He told evertontv: "When the ball is at his feet you have to be prepared for the fact that he is more than likely going to get a shot off or set someone up.

"When he strikes the ball, it's been well documented how much he makes it move. So I will have to be on my game on Saturday, ready to do what I can and hopefully that will be enough."

The overall appeal of this weekend's clash at Dodgers Stadium has captured the imagination of Everton's goalkeeper - who sees no reason why the Blues can't record another headline-grabbing success.

"I don't see why not," he said. "We are playing well at the moment, albeit it's early doors in pre-season. We'd like to get a result and it would be brilliant to do so but we need to play well.

"It's going to be a challenge. We are prepared and we are excited for it. Every time you play a team like Real Madrid there's no need for added motivation, it's there for you so it should be fun."

Watch Howard and the rest of the Blues in action against Madrid on evertontv Live for just £3.99. Click here for details.

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