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Difficult Dynamo task for Stoke as they look for Europe progress

| 01.12.2011

Stoke have been dynamite so far in the Europa League, and now only Dynamo Kiev stand in their way of securing their place as winners of Group E.

Tony Pulis’ men need three points to win the group, and are 6/5 to win at the Britannia Stadium.

Considering that they possess a 100% European record at home in the Europa League, this price certainly deserves some attention.

The sides played out a 1-1 draw in the return fixture in Kiev in September, but in reality Stoke were unlucky not to come away with all three points from that tie also.

Punters who fancy another stalemate can find reasonable odds of 23/10 for another draw here.

Domestic fortunes of the two sides have been somewhat contrasting since their earlier meeting, with Stoke failing to cope as well as they would have liked with the intensity of juggling Premier League and Europa League football.

While they sit in 12th place among England’s elite, their visitors are perched atop the Ukrainian top flight and remain unbeaten, winning 14 and drawing four of their opening 18 domestic matches.

If you fancy them to carry their superb domestic form into what will be a noisy and intimidating Britannia Stadium, 23/10 is the price attributed to an away win.

With Stoke desperate to cement their place as group winners, and Kiev in need of points to keep alive their chances of progression to the knockout stages, both managers are likely to name as strong a side as possible for the clash.

With this in mind, Peter Crouch, with vast international and Champions League experience, looks a good call to score the first goal at 5/1, along with penalty specialist teammate Jonathan Walters at the same price.

For the visitors, Andriy Yarmolenko is the Ukrainian Premier League’s top scorer with 11 goals in 17 games, and he is priced at 9/1 to hit the first goal here.



John Klee