Pubs for Stoke

It's 2.2 miles along the canal. I'm going by train too (from Manchester) - be warned you might be directed to a certain pub and shuttle bus when you get off the train by the Police if they suspect you're Boro and you're likely to be kettled in the car park behind the away stand by the Police after the game for some time.

Are you connecting via Piccadilly?
Last time we were there(the pepper spray game )we thought we were going to miss our train, despite leaving plenty of time for the walk, due to being held back by the police. However we jumped on a free bus in the away end which was police escorted to the station (through red lights) and we made it with a minute to spare.
Don't know what the police have planned tomorrow, but hopefully no pepper spray.
Last time I went to Stoke, we parked a sports club close to the ground and had a drink in the bar there. I think they charged £5 to park. Only problem was it took an age to get out, possibly the worst ground in the EFL to get away from, and everyone appeared to be so aggressive, it was like the whacky races.
In my opinion, Stoke is one of the worst match day experiences you get in the Championship. I cannot stand the place and the ground is soulless.

Edit: not to mention the police...