Stoke City - Arsenal Preview: Potters look to continue good home record against the Gunners
Tony Pulis' side look to bounce back from conceding a last-minute leveller against Reading while Arsene Wenger's new strikeforce look to prove themselves at the Britannia Stadium
By Simon Sinclair
Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson
Kightly, Palacios, Whelan, Etherington
Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs
Diaby, Cazorla, Arteta
Walcott, Giroud, Podolski
Tony Pulis has few injury worries to contend with after the opening week of the season, with just Jermaine Pennant a slight doubt. However, he will be without midfielder Dean Whitehead who was sent off against Reading last week and serves a one-match ban.
Wilson Palacios and Rory Delap will be fighting to replace him while Jamie Ness could also come into contention. Jonathan Walters may play in a slightly deeper role than he did against the Royals solidifying the Stoke midfield leaving Peter Crouch as the lone frontman.
Arsene Wenger saw his side struggle to break down a stubborn Sunderland side last week but he may stick with a similar team that drew 0-0 with the Black Cats.
Despite his miss in that game Olivier Giroud could make his first start, replacing Gervinho, with Lukas Podolski dropping to the left-hand side of a three-man attack.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returns to the squad after missing last week but Laurent Koscielny (calf) has not recovered in time. Jack Wilshere (ankle), Emmanuel Frimpong (knee), Tomas Rosicky (thigh) and Bacary Sagna (broken leg) remain long-term absentees.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Stoke City have only won three league games at the Britannia Stadium this year beating just Swansea, Norwich and Wolves.
The Potters have conceded five last-minute goals in 2012, after Adam Le Fondre’s 90th minute leveller last week for Reading.
- Tony Pulis’s side have received three red cards this year following Dean Whitehead’s sending off at the Madejski Stadium.
- Stoke have failed to win a Premier League game since the April 7, a span that has lasted seven matches.
- In four Premier League meetings at the Britannia Stadium between the two sides, Arsenal have won just once in 2009/10 season while Stoke have won twice in 08/09 and 10/11.
- The Gunners have won just one of their last six Premier League games, their only victory coming against West Brom on the final day of the 2011/12 season.
- No player in Arsene Wenger’s squad has ever reached double digits in a season in the English top flight. However, France international Olivier Giroud (pictured) scored 21 goals for Montpellier in Ligue 1 last season.
Arsenal have kept seven clean sheets this year in 17 league games.
Wenger’s side have a good record away from the Emirates Stadium in 2012 winning five of their 10 games.
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Top 3 Predictions
Stoke City 0-2 Arsenal FC
- 18.43 %
Stoke City 1-3 Arsenal FC
- 14.57 %
Stoke City 1-2 Arsenal FC
- 13.27 %
|Premier League (EPL)||2 Feb 2013||Arsenal FC 1 - Stoke City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||26 Aug 2012||Stoke City 0 - Arsenal FC 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||28 Apr 2012||Stoke City 1 - Arsenal FC 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||23 Oct 2011||Arsenal FC 3 - Stoke City 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||8 May 2011||Stoke City 3 - Arsenal FC 1|
|19 May 2013||Southampton 1 - Stoke City 1||EPL|
|12 May 2013||Stoke City 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|6 May 2013||Sunderland 1 - Stoke City 1||EPL|
|27 Apr 2013||Stoke City 1 - Norwich City 0||EPL|
|20 Apr 2013||QPR 0 - Stoke City 2||EPL|
Stoke have historically caused Arsenal problems over the years and expect to see the same on Sunday. However, the Potters' defence didn’t look all that convincing against Reading last week and with Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud out to prove themselves, it could be an interesting attacking game.