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Stoke fortress under Valencia siege

Published: Monday 9 January 2012, 8.05CET
Stoke City FC's first match against Spanish opposition pits the Potters against the 2004 champions Valencia CF, moving into this competition from the UEFA Champions League.
Stoke fortress under Valencia siege
Stoke's Peter Crouch celebrates a goal ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 9 January 2012, 8.05CET

Stoke fortress under Valencia siege

Stoke City FC's first match against Spanish opposition pits the Potters against the 2004 champions Valencia CF, moving into this competition from the UEFA Champions League.

Stoke City FC have taken to the UEFA Europa League very well this season, but their superb home record will be sorely tested by Valencia CF in the round of 32.

Previous meetings
• The sides have been paired for the first time in UEFA club competition, and this is Stoke's first encounter with Spanish opponents.

• Valencia's 31 games against English sides have ended W8 D15 L8 (W1 D9 L5 in England).

• The Spanish outfit drew 0-0 with Arsenal FC in the 1979/80 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, taking the trophy with a 5-4 shoot-out win. They beat Nottingham Forest FC on away goals in the subsequent UEFA Super Cup games.

• Valencia have not won in their last eight meetings with English sides – four draws, four defeats – since a 2-1 UEFA Champions League second group stage home victory against Arsenal on 19 March 2003. They have yet to beat an English outfit in four attempts under current coach Unai Emery.

Match background
• Valencia finished third behind Chelsea FC and Bayer 04 Leverkusen in UEFA Champions League Group E, losing 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on matchday six to move into this competition.

• A 3-1 loss at Beşiktaş JK on matchday six ended Stoke's 11-game unbeaten European run, which stretched back to a 4-0 defeat at 1. FC Kaiserslautern in September 1972.

• This is Stoke's first experience of the spring phase of European competition.

• The Potters remain unbeaten at home in Europe; their seven fixtures have produced five wins and two draws.

• Valencia are without a victory in six games on their travels – three draws and three defeats – since a 4-0 UEFA Champions League triumph at Bursaspor in September 2010.

• The Spanish side lifted the UEFA Cup in 2003/04, beating Olympique de Marseille 2-0 in the final in Gothenburg. They bowed out in the round of 32 to FC Steaua Bucureşti in 2004/05 and FC Dynamo Kyiv in 2008/09, but forged on to the quarter-finals in 2009/10 where they lost on away goals to eventual winners Club Atlético de Madrid.

• Valencia are unbeaten in five UEFA Europa League games since a 1-0 loss at Club Brugge KV in the first leg of the 2009/10 round of 32. They won the return fixture 3-0 then drew their subsequent four fixtures.

Team facts
• This will be Valencia's 100th match in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League; their record is W45 D32 L22.

• Valencia's Daniel Parejo played in England in 2008, representing Queens Park Rangers FC while on loan from Real Madrid CF. Antonio Barragán was at Liverpool FC in 2005/06, when Stoke's Salif Diao was on the books of the Merseyside club.

• Peter Crouch is yet to score in five games against Spanish opponents. However, he struck twice last time he faced Valencia midfielder Mehmet Topal, in a 3-2 win for Liverpool against Galatasaray AŞ at Anfield in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage, where Stoke's Jermaine Pennant also lined up for the Reds.

• Stoke's Welsh manager Tony Pulis is making his continental coaching debut this season. Highly regarded for leading the Potters back into the top flight, his only previous involvement in European competition took place as a defender for Wales in seven International Youth Tournament games in 1975 and 1976.

• The son and grandson of famous goalkeepers, Valencia coach Emery had a modest playing career but learned quickly as a coach at Lorca Deportiva CF and UD Almería, with whom he won promotion to the Liga. Valencia chose him to replace Ronald Koeman as coach in 2008.

Round of 16
• The winners of this tie will take on the victors in the tie between Trabzonspor AŞ and PSV Eindhoven in the round of 16 on 8 and 15 March, playing the first leg at home.

• Stoke have met neither of their potential opponents in UEFA competition.

• Valencia have never come across Trabzonspor, but were paired with PSV in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League first group stage; the teams drew 1-1 in Eindhoven, Valencia then winning their home match 1-0.

Competition statistics
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:

Last updated: 14/02/12 15.55CET