Competition: Premier League – Stoke City vs. Arsenal
Venue: Britannia Stadium – Sunday, January 17 – 16:15 GMT (11:15 EST)
Match Odds: Stoke City 3/1 – Draw 12/5 – Arsenal 19/20
Stoke have recorded three wins in their last five in the league with a very impressive young and attacking side.
Mark Hughes has transformed the style of football the Potters play and they may even be able to outplay the Gunners on Sunday afternoon. How times change.
Stoke City’s Premier League record: P21 – W9 – D5 – L7Embed from Getty Images
Arsenal have suffered a whole host of injuries over the last few years and this term has been no different. Star players like Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez have been on the sidelines for extended periods of time and the Gunners are perhaps starting to struggle without them, having only won two of their last four.
They came from behind twice to lead at Anfield on Wednesday night but a late Joe Allen goal saw the game finish 3-3. Arsene Wenger will have been disappointed with that result and will need to try and rally his troops for what is always a tough trip to the Britannia for Arsenal.
Importantly, they last beat Stoke away in the league in February 2010, which is quite astonishing for a big club like Arsenal.
It is well documented that this is Arsenal’s best chance of a title in years and the injury-stricken Gunners will need every point to win the coveted Premier League crown in what looks set to be a tight title race until the last gasp.
Arsenal’s Premier League record: P21 – W13 – D4 – L4
The reverse fixture between the two at the Emirates ended 2-0 to Arsenal, with goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud sealing three points for the Gunners in September.
Stoke City may be without Stephen Ireland, Marc Muniesa and Geoff Cameron, who are all doubtful. Jon Walters is supposedly out with a knee injury and Ryan Shawcross is set to be out for three months with a back injury.
Arsenal are without Jack Wilshere, who is still suffering with a leg injury. Tomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck, Francois Coquelin and Santi Cazorla are all out with knee injuries. Alexis Sanchez is nearing a return after a long spell on the sidelines and could make the squad here.
Stoke City’s last five: L/W/W/L/W
Arsenal’s last five: W/L/W/W/D
Key Stat: Stoke City are unbeaten in their last five matches against Arsenal in all competitions.
Key Player: Mesut Ozil – The silky German has been quiet recently but has been sensational this season. Arsenal need him to regain his consistency if they are to win the title this term.Embed from Getty Images
Stoke City 0-1 Arsenal – Both sides are usually defensively sound so a low scoring affair is a good bet. We do expect Arsenal to take all three points however, despite Stoke’s strength at home.