Stoke City are set to host Maccabi Tel Aviv in the a group match of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, October 20, 2011. These sides have never met before on a football field.
This is Stoke’s first appearance in European competition in 37 years, and they have done creditably, so far, remaining unbeaten in the four matches played by them.
Stoke are at the top of their group having garnered four points from their first two games, and a win against Israel’s top side will help maintain their lead at the top of the group table.
Maccabi haven’t had the best of starts to their Europa League group campaign, with a home draw against Dynamo Kiev and an away rout at Besiktas, in their two previous games.
Stoke are fresh from a 2-0 win, over Fulham, in match week eight of the Premier League. While Begovic could be rested, Sorensen who scored a goal in each of the Potters’ previous two games in the Europa League is certain to start. Matthew Upson who replaced Jonathan Woodgate against Fulham is likely to give way to Robert Huth. Dean Whitehead could be brought in to replace Glenn Whelan who is expected to be given a rest after doing international duty for Ireland over the weekend.
Maccabi have an embarrassment of riches in the form of forwards, Moussa Konate, Roberto Colautti and Eliran Atar, and Maccabi Tel-Aviv manager Motti Ivanir is likely to relish the fact that all strikers have been in good form recently.
Meanwhile, Stoke manager Tony Pulis will rely on his forwards Peter Crouch, Jonathan Walters, Cameron Jerome and Kenwyne Jones to deliver the goods against the Tel Aviv squad; all four have been among the goals in the Europa League, this season. Matthew Etherington, with a record number of assists for Stoke, could be another player crucial to Stoke’s fortunes, on Thursday.
Stoke’s probable eleven: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Pennant, Delap, Whitehead, Etherington, Walters, Crouch
Maccabi Tel Aviv’s probable eleven: Haymov, Vered, Puncec, Nivaldo, Ziv, Yeini, Logasi, Medunjanin, Micha, Konate, Colautti
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.