NO WOODY CHANCE!
DYNAMO KIEV v STOKE Thursday, 6pm
TONY PULIS has dropped Jonathan Woodgate from Stoke’s Europa League squad in a bid to protect the defender from more injury hell.
Woodgate won’t play in any of Stoke’s six group games after Pulis opted to leave him out of his 23-man squad and keep him fit for the Premier League.
The former Tottenham defender will stay at home as Stoke fly out to Kiev for Thursday night’s Group E clash and will not be involved either in the games against Besiktas and Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
The Stoke boss believes the energysapping journeys to Ukraine, Turkey and Israel – trips that will total 11,000 miles – could have damaging repercussions for injury-prone Woodgate.
Pulis said: “Jonathan is not in the Europa League squad – it was a decision I made as soon as the draw finished.
“As soon as I saw where we were travelling to it made sense. These trips are just too far.
“He wants to play. He was gutted but it’s best for him.”