Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Wednesday December 24 2008
Stoke face the might of the newly crowned World Champions in a mouth watering fixture at the Brit on Boxing Day.
As well as attracting Sky TV, it's been sold-out for several weeks as Stoke fans look forward to it with a mixture of apprehension and anticipation. After all, we know it's going to be difficult, coming on the back of the recent 5-0 defeat at Old Trafford, but these are the games that we dreamt of when we gained promotion back in May.
Tony Pulis told the BBC: 'We'll get 28,000 people there, the place will be rocking and I'm just delighted for everybody in the city - it's good times.
'We'll expect a tough game - we know what they're like and what players they've got. Whichever team Sir Alex Ferguson picks, they're full of quality.
'If we work hard enough and we have a good slice of luck on the day then you never know what might happen.'
It's all hands to the pump as Dave Kitson, Salif Diao, Andy Griffin and Leon Cort are all still doubtful, but Thomas Sorensen is hopeful of a quick return after damaging a bone in his hand last weekend. Mamady Sidibe is out for another month at least but Liam Lawrence just might be fit enough for the bench.
The former Manchester United academy player will hopefully be playing far better than in the past couple of games. A solid defence is an absolute must if we're going to stand any chance of getting anything from this match
The World Champions have only just arrived back from the final of the club world championships in Japan, seemingly without any injuries, but hopefully a bit jaded.
Ronaldo is a man who needs no introduction. We just need to keep a good eye on him.
This is the Reds' first visit to the Brit.
Sunday 28th December: West Ham (away) kick-off: 2pm
Saturday 3rd January: Hartlepool (away) kick-off: 3pm (FA Cup)
Saturday 10th January: Liverpool (home) kick-off: 5.30pm (Setanta TV)
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Date:Wednesday December 24 2008
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