Pulis: We can thrive as underdogs on 'historic' night

 

Tony Pulis is relishing the prospect of hosting Valencia this evening in the Europa League last 32. Pulis has certainly brought some memorable moments to Stoke City in his time there, last year's two trips to Wembley being the obvious ones, but a visit to the Britannia Stadium from one of Spain's finest sides will be a special evening.

"I'm excited," Pulis said yesterday. "It's one of the great games this football club has had in its history. Next year it's 150 years this club has been going and we haven't had too many occasions when you can say you're playing a top, top European team."

Stoke and Valencia are both football cities with intense, intimidating atmospheres, and Pulis hopes that the Britannia will be at least as fierce as the Mestalla will be for the return leg. "It's not the game here," he said, "there's a lot of supporters who can't wait to go out for the game in Spain as well and experience the atmosphere out there, which is supposed to be absolutely fantastic. It's just fantastic for the city."

Despite a difficult group, including Besiktas and Dynamo Kiev, Stoke are still unbeaten at home in this season's competition. It is a record Pulis knows they will have to preserve this evening: "The games we've had at our place on the Thursday nights, the atmosphere has been fantastic, and what we've done so far, you can double that on Thursday night, because they will know we're up against it, and they're at their best when we're the underdogs."

Valencia are third in La Liga, eight points behind second-placed Barcelona, despite selling David Villa, David Silva and Juan Mata in recent years. "They're a fantastic team," said Pulis, who saw them beat Sporting Gijon 4-0 on Sunday. "[Unai Emery] is a young coach and he's got the team very well organised both off the ball and in possession, and they impress you. He's had to sell some of his best players and he's put together a very exciting team, they've got some terrific players."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth Games
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
film
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Extras
indybestSpice up your knife with our selection of delicious toppings
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried