The Potters continue their European adventure against the Spanish side which has been gathering momentum in its domestic trails and will be a tough opponent for the home team.
Shotton, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson
Pennant, Delap, Diao, Etherington
Miguel, Ruiz, Dealbert, Mathieu
Feghouli, Albelda, Tino Costa, Aduriz, Jordi Alba
Tony Pulis has just the one player sidelined through injury for the visit of the Spanish side, with Mamady Sidibe expected to miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Matthew Upson, meanwhile, is suspended for both ties with Valencia after his straight red card in the loss against Besiktas.
The Potters will have one eye on their fixture with Crawley Town in the FA Cup on Sunday, but the 54-year-old boss will most likely look to field a side of youngsters mixed with a touch of experience and will not worry too much in starting a strong team against the La Liga outfit.
Valencia is missing a total of four players, with Hedwiges Maduro, Paco Alcacer, Pablo Hernandez and Sergio Canales all out. Also, with Los Che creeping up behind the faltering Barcelona in the Spanish league, a number of players could be rested as the club focuses on its domestic exploits.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Valencia has featured in one Europa League final and won it, beating French side Marseille 2-0 in 2004.
- This is Unai Emery’s (right) third try at the Europa League, after exiting in the quarterfinals on both previous occasions.
- Like Emery, Stoke City is also experiencing its third go at Europe’s second-tier club competition after two dips into the then UEFA Cup back in the 1970s, where both times the team was knocked out in the first round.
- This is the first time these two outfits have clashed and the first Spanish side Stoke has faced competitively.
- The winner of a round of 32 tie will collect 250,000 euros for progressing to the last 16, while the overall winner will collect 2.5 million euros. In comparison, a team that makes the group stages of the Champions League receives 3.25 million euros.
- Inter Milan holds the record for most Europa League titles (3) and won its last back in 1998.
- Stoke has only lost one match on its path to the last 32, losing 3-1 to Besiktas in the final group tie.