Upson warns of Sheva threat
Potters defender wants easy passage into last 32
Last Updated: December 8, 2011 2:47pm
Matthew Upson: Has played every minute of Stoke's Europa League action since joining from West Ham
Stoke defender Matthew Upson has warned his team-mates not to underestimate Dynamo Kiev's ageing star Andriy Shevchenko in their crunch Europa League clash.
Former AC Milan striker Shevchenko, 35, has not scored a goal in the competition this season as Kiev's hopes of last 32 qualification hang by a thread.
Unbeaten Stoke need just a draw at the Britannia to progress, while the Ukrainians could crash out if they lose Thursday night's Group E tie.
However, Upson is well aware of the dangers posed by Shevchenko, who will have a point to prove to English fans after an unsuccessful spell at Chelsea, and his team-mates.
The England defender said: "Shevchenko is very alive.
"He looks pretty sharp at the moment and his movement's good.
"The other guy who played up front, Andriy Yarmolenko, is more of a target man and is a good player.
"They've got some good wide players so there are problems coming at you from all angles."
Upson, 32, is desperate to seal qualification against Kiev and avoid a final-day decider at Turkish giants Besiktas.
And he is expecting a special night inside the Britannia after boss Tony Pulis called for the home fans to create a "cup final" atmosphere.
Upson said: "There's nothing like European evenings, especially in English football. The atmosphere is just fantastic.
"We really want to seal the qualification. It would take the pressure off us going into the final game.
"We've obviously got a responsibility being at home to take the game to them a little bit."