Stoke City - Stoke City vs Hajduk Split - PREVIEW
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Stoke City vs Hajduk Split - PREVIEW

Stoke face Croatian giants Hajduk Split tonight in the first leg of their Europa league 3rd qualifying round tie. (7:45pm kick off)

Jermaine Pennant and Matty Etherington are nursing knocks, whilst Jon Walters has been suffering from illness.

However, it is hoped all three should be OK to start tonight's match as Pulis looks set to name his strongest possible line-up.

According to the Sentinel, there is every chance Danny Collins will start at left back with Dean Whitehead taking Rory Delap's place in centre midfield.

Pennant is expected to be fit but Delap will take his place on the right if the former Liverpool man is struggling.

Hajduk are no strangers to European encounters, having appeared in three European Cup Quarter-finals - the most recent being in 1994.

It is widely accepted both teams have drawn the short straw by facing the toughest opponent they could have hoped for at this stage of the competition.

It's a fitting start for the Potters in Europe and a win tonight is needed, especially given our poor away record - the prospect of travelling to Split chasing the tie is daunting so a win by a decent margin would be a huge boost.

Watch out for Hadjuk forward Ante Vukusic, the 20-year-old has been likened to Luka Modric and is reportedly being tracked by top Premiership clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs.

Probable starting line up : Begovic, Wilson, Huth, Shawcross, Collins, Pennant, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Walters, Jones.

Vital Stoke predicts : Stoke City 2-0 Hajduk Split.

Enjoy the game everyone!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tom Mckeon Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 28 2011

Time: 11:13AM


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