Tony Pulis was a bit doom and gloom after the Europa League draw was made and it was hard not to feel sorry for the Potters considering that they have three group opponents which will effectively take them out of Europe to play their away matches.
Nevertheless, the Stoke manager sounded upbeat ahead of the team’s trip to the Ukraine and his team will be showing Dynamo Kyiv plenty of respect after the latter knocked Manchester City out of the Europa League last season.
“I’ve got the greatest respect for all three teams we are playing,” Pulis said.
“I know Kiev have played many games in Europe and have more experience than most teams we are going to play – they are a very famous club.
“We watched video of the Man City games from last year, so we know it will be tough.
“Shevchenko is a great player with fantastic pedigree. He has played in England and knows what English football is all about, so of course, whether he starts or comes on as a substitute, we will give him respect.”
The bookmakers anticipate this being a difficult assignment for the visitors, with Kyiv on offer at 8/11 (bet365 – £200 free bets) although Stoke are yet to taste defeat this season and will set their stall to defend in numbers and make life difficult for their opponents.
Ladbrokes (£50 free betting) offer 5/2 that the match finishes all square and we can’t rule out the possibility of there being No Goalscorer at odds of 8/1.