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UEFA Europa League

  • February 23, 2012
  • • 18:00
  • • Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
  • Referee: M. Strömbergsson
  • • Attendance: 35000
1
FT
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Valencia win Aggregate 2 - 0

Valencia - Stoke City Preview: Britannia Stadium victory was Spanish side's first over English opposition since 2003

Valencia - Stoke City Preview: Britannia Stadium victory was Spanish side's first over English opposition since 2003

Getty Images

Mehmet Topal's wonder strike last week sees the hosts go into the second leg with a narrow lead as the two sides fight it out for a place in the last 16


PROBABLE LINEUPS

VALENCIA


Guaita
Bruno, Rami, Dealbert, Mathieu
Topal, Costa
Feghouli, Piatti, Jonas
Aduriz
STOKE CITY


Begovic
Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson
Pennant, Palacios, Delap, Etherington
Walters, Crouch

Both sides will be expected to name similar line-ups to those which featured in the first leg last Thursday in order to rest players that were in action over the weekend.

Valencia suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Barcelona on Sunday, losing 5-1 thanks to a magical display from Lionel Messi, and will be looking to restore their pride against Stoke and improve on their one-goal advantage.

Los Che’s latest injury worry came in unfortunate circumstances after Ever Banega failed to secure his handbrake at a petrol station, resulting in his car running over his ankle. The midfielder now faces surgery on a double fracture, leaving him out of action for the rest of the season.

The Potters knocked Crawley Town out of the FA Cup at the weekend and will no doubt rotate the squad accordingly, replacing the fringe players with stronger individuals to try and overturn their deficit in this tie.

Matthew Upson is back from European suspension and could feature, whilst Dean Whitehead is doubtful after suffering a gashed shin in last week’s initial encounter at the Britannia Stadium.



DID YOU KNOW?
  • Last Thursday’s first leg was Valencia’s 100th game in the Europa League/UEFA Cup.
  • Stoke City have won just one of their last five games in all competitions.
  • Los Che are unbeaten in their last six European home fixtures – with four wins and two draws – their last defeat coming to Manchester United in the group stages of the Champions League in 2010.
  • Potters striker Peter Crouch (right) has failed to score in six meetings with Spanish sides.
  • In 32 games against English sides, Valencia have won nine, drawn 15 and lost eight.
  • Before beating Stoke last week, Thursday’s hosts had not won in their last eight meetings with sides from England, with their last victory coming against Arsenal in March 2003.

Players to watch

M. Topal

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Los Che have their narrow advantage going to the Mestalla thanks to the Turkish midfielder’s fantastic strike into Asmir Begovic’s top corner.

That fixture marked his fourth appearance in Europe this season and, after impressing last time round, the 25-year-old will look to replicate his performance and orchestrate the midfield whilst getting the ball forward to the likes of Jonas and Sofiane Feghouli.

J. Walters

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
After getting a much-needed goal in his last outing, the forward will take some confidence going into the second leg in Valencia.

Walters almost opened the scoring last Thursday just moments after kick off and his determination to get in front of goal could make the difference at Mestalla.

Editor's Prediction

Valencia had the edge in the first leg and on home turf many will expect them to dominate further to put the tie beyond the Premier League outfit.

The support in the Mestalla will be overwhelming for the men in white and Stoke will find it hard to deal with an atmosphere that competes with their own at the Britannia, as well Los Che’s experienced winners.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Valencia

Stoke City

Wins
2
0
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Valencia Club de Fútbol VAL
Valencia Club de Fútbol Valencia
Draw
Stoke City FC STO
Stoke City FC Stoke City
74%
19%

Top 3 Predictions

Valencia Club de Fútbol VAL
2 - 0
Stoke City FC STO
Valencia Club de Fútbol VAL
3 - 0
Stoke City FC STO
Valencia Club de Fútbol VAL
3 - 1
Stoke City FC STO

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