Stoke vs Arsenal: Preview, Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Arsenal will be hoping to consolidate their position in 3rd when they face Stoke on Saturday. Here’s a preview with team news, likely line-ups & predicted score
Arsenal will be hoping to consolidate their third place position when they face Stoke City on Saturday.
We all know the kind of game to expect at the Britannia Stadium and in the past we haven’t been able to cope with the physical aspect of their game. One win in our last four games away to the Potters tells it’s own story.
Stoke are in terrible form of late having won just one of their last seven games, however they are still a threat at home and have only lost four games at the Britannia all season. They have also managed draws with both United and City, and have beaten Liverpool and Tottenham, so we know we’re in for a tough game on Saturday.
Arsenal will need to get back to winning ways after failing to win their last two homes games, which has let Newcastle and Tottenham back in to the race for third. Which now has added importance given the fact that fourth would miss out on Champions League football next season if Chelsea were to beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. So lets ensure we secure third, and let the others worry about that!
Tony Pulis has mixed injury news ahead of the game. Defender Andy Wilkinson is ruled out with a groin injury and he’s also likely to miss Tuesday’s game with Everton.
Former Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant is available again after returning to training after two weeks on the sidelines with a virus. However, he’s only likely to make the bench.
Arsene Wenger can welcome back Yossi Benayoun after the midfielder was ineligible for last weeks draw with Chelsea, but Theo Walcott is ruled out for at least two weeks after being forced out of that game with a hamstring strain.
Thomas Rosicky has been passed fit after suffering from illness last week, while Abou Diaby will face a late fitness test after also picking up a bug during the week. Arsenal will continue to be without long term injury victims Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Jack Wilshere.
Stoke seem to be crawling towards the finish line and their Europa League exploits this season look to be taking there toll on the squad. This could potentially be a good time to play them, but we all know they up their game considerably when the big-boys come to town, so i fully expect a close game here.
Should Abou Diaby fail to start he could be a big miss as we could do with his physical presence, especially at set pieces. But i’m backing Robin to find his scoring boots again and Arsenal to sneak this one. Stoke 1-2 Arsenal.
What are your thoughts on the game? Get involved in the comments section.
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