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The Away Day Guide: Stoke City

Sunderland travel to Stoke for the first of two away games on the bounce. Here's everything you need to know if you're heading down to The Potteries.

Getting There

If you're travelling by car, it's the usual start of A19 and A1(M) before hopping onto the M18 at junction 35. You won't stay on there for long, joining the M1 at junction 32 until you hit the A38. That will take you through Derby and keep following signs for the A50, as you join the A516, as that road takes you right up to the stadium. In good traffic it should take you just over three hours.

Pubs

Given it's location, Stoke is probably the worst away game when it comes to nearby pubs. There's not many options close to the ground, the nearest being the Harvester. It's far from ideal, I know, but it's an away fan friendly pub that's a stones throw from the stadium. Get there early if you can as it does get busy.

A little further down the road you'll find the Power League Five-A-Side Centre which has a bar welcoming away fans. If you've ever been to Wigan, it's quite similar to the set up they have there. Again, it's not great so I'd advise walking a little further down the road to Longton Rugby Club for something that actually resembles a proper pub.

If you're willing to go a bit further away from the Bet365 Stadium and into the centre of town, The Terrace Inn is the designated away fans boozer. It's quite a hike from the stadium mind so the best option of getting to the ground is probably getting a taxi. Stoke Station is just down the road but wherever you get the train to will still leave you a canny walk from the ground, so play it safe and grab a cab.

If You're At A Loose End

Josh Widdicombe plays the Victoria Hall on Saturday night if you're staying over and fancy some comedy. Star of "The Last Leg" and his own sitcom "Josh", Plymouth Argyle supporting Widdicombe is an excellent observational stand up and one of the best in the country. There aren't many tickets left for the former voice of Fighting Talk and XFM host, so be sure to book quickly.

If you're staying down pre-match and need something to do on Friday night, Sonic Boom Six are playing at The Underground. Born in Manchester, the band range through genres such as punk, ska, hip hop and reggae with a lot of political tones to their recent work. Always a great live act and at less than a tenner for such a hard working band is an absolute bargain.

Also located in Staffordshire is Alton Towers, which is ideal if you need something more family oriented. It's a great time to go as well since October weekends all revolve around their Halloween themed "Scarefest." There's a plethora of limited time only attractions so it's a great time to pay the theme park a visit.

The Stadium

With three missing corners, The Bet365 Stadium (formerly The Britannia) does have a fairly unique look to it. The open style of the ground leads to it being one of the windiest and coldest in the country, meaning the "cold Wednesday night in Stoke" cliche wasn't born out of nothing. It's a fairly isolated ground, located just off the A50 and it's probably how the Stadium of Light would have felt had our new stadium been place in it's proposed location near Nissan.

The away fans are housed in the South Stand, with an allocation of around 2,500. The tunnel the players and officials emerge from is located in the corner just to the left of the away fans, so the players/referee can't escape your abuse after the game, should it be warranted. All being well though, you'll just be lavishing praise on them as they make their way to the changing rooms.

Due to the slopping stand and the fact that alcohol is available in the concourse, it's usually a good atmosphere at Stoke. Hopefully everyone travelling down has a safe journey, makes a great noise and brings three points back to Wearside.