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STOKE v VALENCIA Thursday, Live on ESPN, 8pm
JAVIER HERNANDEZ admits it is strange for Man United to be scrapping it out in the Europa League on Thursday nights.
The English champions have reached three of the last four Champions League finals.
But they were stunned to be dumped out of Europe’s top competition in the group phase for just the third time.
They have been laughed at by their Premier League rivals over having to lower themselves into the Europa League. Now they will square up to Dutch giants Ajax for the first time in their history when they head to Amsterdam.
Sir Alex Ferguson maintains he is desperate for United to go all the way and denies it could disrupt their title bid.
With no FA Cup game this weekend, Fergie has vowed he will pick a full-strength side to go all-out against the Dutchmen.
And Mexican hotshot Hernandez, who’s nicknamed “Chicharito” or “Little Pea”, also accepts it will be tough even though crisis-torn Ajax are sixth in the Dutch league.
He said: “Playing at home in the second leg is important but it’s only a small advantage – it doesn’t guarantee victory.
“It’ll be a difficult game but we’ll go there looking to win.
“The Champions League is the best competition in Europe and it’s a bit strange to be in the Europa League. But we want to win every tournament RICARDO FULLER wants Stoke to secure their biggest European scalp yet by dumping out Valencia.
Fuller (left) is determined for Tony Pulis’ Potters to rip up the script again and stun their glamorous Spanish opponents this week.
Stoke face a daunting task against Valencia in the first leg on Thursday on the back of four straight Premier League defeats. But the Potters have already beaten Hajduk Split and drawn twice against Dynamo Kiev on their historic route to the last 16.
And striker Fuller is on a mission to keep proving the doubters wrong and secure a path past the Spaniards this month. He said: “People will say we have no chance, but they also said that in the group stage.
“We won’t go out there just to make up the numbers, we will be looking to cause a shock by going through to the last 16.
“It’s a draw all of the players wanted. We were speaking about it before the draw took place and praying for Valencia.
“They were probably the best side we could have drawn against,