Stoke vs Arsenal: Preview, Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Arsenal make the trip north to face Stoke City at the Britannia on Sunday. Here’s a preview with team news, likely line-ups and predicted score for the game.
Written by: Gooner Mac
Stoke City away. Not Arsenal’s favourite fixture of the season but it gives the players a chance to show they’re up for it this year.
We know exactly what to expect on Sunday. Stoke only know one way of playing. Some call it ‘anti-football’ while others claim they are simply playing to their strengths and exploiting the oppositions weaknesses.
Whatever your stance is, the fact remains that Arsenal have struggled to deal with Stoke’s ‘direct’ approach in the past and Tony Pulis seems to enjoy winding Arsene Wenger up and loves nothing more than getting one over the Frenchman.
New signings Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud will be in for a baptism of fire when they play at the Britannia for the first time, lets hope the rest of the squad have warned them what kind of game this will be. I fancy Poldi to be up for it. He looks the sort to enjoy a bit of the rough stuff.
Stoke have no fresh injury worries going into the game, but Dean Whitehead misses out through suspension after being sent off against Reading last week.
Former Gunner Jermaine Pennant is available again after missing the opening day fixture with a thigh injury and Geoff Cameron is also available after receiving international clearance to enter the country following his move from the US.
Arsenal Wenger welcomes back Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who missed the Sunderland game with an ankle injury. The youngster trained on Friday and is now pushing for a start.
However, defender Laurent Koscielny is ruled out once again with a calf strain. This could be a blessing in disguise as we will probably need Per Mertesackers height to deal with Crouch and the bombardment of long balls coming our way.
Wojciech Szczesny is a slight doubt but should be fit. If he misses out Lukasz Fabianski is in line to stand in after recovering from a back injury.
It’s likely Giroud will come in and his height and power will be important. It’s a toss-up whether Wenger will go with Walcott or Gervinho on the right but I’ve chosen the Ivorian as he’s more powerful than Theo and may be able to deal with the physical approach from the hosts a little better.
The Britannia is never an easy place to go, especially for the top sides and even more so for Arsenal – who they just love playing against at home. Stoke are currently unbeaten in their last seven home matches and they have Peter Crouch up front, who seems to score against Arsenal every time he lines up against us.
If we can contain the big man and restrict the number of set pieces we give away, we certainly have the quality to get a positive result. I’m going to back the boys to do it. Stoke 1-2 Arsenal.
What team would you choose? What do you think the final score will be? Get involved in the comments section.
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