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Monday 20 August 2018

Pulis: Britannia roar will not faze Besiktas

STOKE boss Tony Pulis (pictured below) does not expect the raucous atmosphere at the Britannia Stadium to pose many problems for Besiktas in tonight's Europa League Group E clash.

Plenty of teams have found the Potters' ground an intimidating place to play at -- and Manchester United last Saturday became the latest big-name side to drop points there.

Having travelled to Turkey the next day to watch Besiktas in action, though, Pulis feels the Stoke faithful will have some job on their hands to intimidate the Istanbul outfit.

"They play in a volatile atmosphere every week over there, so it is second nature to them," Pulis said.

BIRMINGHAM striker Marlon King has urged the Blues to harness the "buzz" surrounding their Europa League campaign when they face Slovenian champions NK Maribor in Group H tonight. Birmingham boss Chris Hughton has previously lamented the added workload of a European distraction, but last night he admitted it can also act as "a welcome release" from the rigours of the Championship.

Last season's Carling Cup winners currently sit 19th in the table following a defeat at Southampton and a home draw with Barnsley in their past two league games.

FULHAM defender Brede Hangeland believes Odense will prove a stern test on his return to Denmark.

The 30-year-old joined the Cottagers in 2008 from Copenhagen, with whom he plied his trade for two years. Hangeland twice won the Superliga title during his time in Denmark, fending off resistance from Odense on both occasions.

The defender expects a similarly tough contest this evening and is looking forward to pitting his wits against Odense once more.

"When I was here (in Denmark), they were the second best team in this league and I was lucky to be part of the best team in this league," Hangeland said.

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