Europa League preview: A look at tonight's matches involving English sides
Thursday 25 August 2011
Stoke (1) v FC Thun (0): Pulis keen to add reinforcements
Stoke manager Tony Pulis claims there is "no question" his squad needs strengthening before next week's transfer deadline. Veteran defenders Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson remain the only new arrivals at the Britannia Stadium this summer. "I think everybody knows we have to bring players in – I don't think there is any question from the top of the football club right down," Pulis said. Stoke will be without suspended duo Robert Huth and Matthew Etherington tonight. Midfielders Jermaine Pennant and Rory Delap will be assessed ahead of kick-off.
Dnipro (0) v Fulham (3): Kelly braced for Dnipro offensive
Fulham striker Bobby Zamora's ankle injury means he is a doubt for tonight's play-off second leg against Dnipro in Ukraine. Simon Davies (knee) is also unlikely to feature despite returning to training, while Bjorn Helge Riise (hamstring) is out. Defender Stephen Kelly expects Dnipro to attack from the start. "It's going to be difficult, but if we get a goal over there, then hopefully that would be the tie over," he said. "They've got it all to do so we can imagine them going for it."
Birmingham (0) v (0) Nacional: Hughton fired up by European test
Birmingham City manager Chris Hughton says his team can put their promotion ambitions to one side as European football returns to St Andrew's for the first time in 50 years tonight. "The fans are certainly looking forward to it, that will show in the numbers that turn up," Hughton said. Jordon Mutch is out for three months with a broken foot while midfielder Morgaro Gomis and strikers Cameron Jerome, Marlon King and Nikola Zigic all remain out.
Spurs (5) v (0) Hearts: Redknapp to give his kids a chance
Harry Redknapp will play his fringe players tonight. Former academy winger Andros Townsend, England Under-19 midfielder Tom Carroll and 18-year-old striker Harry Kane will all be involved. Redknapp said: "We have Manchester City on Sunday, so it will give me a chance to rest a few players. That Thursday-Sunday schedule is a difficult one."
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