League Cup Preview and Prediction: Stoke vs Chelsea

Competition: League Cup Fourth Round – Stoke City vs. Chelsea

Venue: Britannia Stadium – Tuesday, October 27 – 19:45 GMT (15:45 ET)

Match Odds: Stoke 5/2 – Draw 5/2 – Chelsea 21/20

Match Preview

Stoke host Chelsea in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night in what will be another real test for Jose Mourinho and his struggling side.

Stoke had won three on the bounce before Saturday’s 2-0 loss at home to Watford. They will look to pick back up with a win against the League Cup holders here and will be confident considering Chelsea’s poor form.

The Potters sit one point above the Blues in 14th in the Premier League after ten weeks and so it’s tough to call who will come out on top on Tuesday.

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Both sides could do with a solid cup run. Stoke have got this far by just edging past Luton on penalties before beating Fulham 1-0 in the last round.

Chelsea only entered the competition in the last round as they are the reigning champions. They beat Walsall 4-1 away from home and face a tougher road trip this time.

The Blues lost 2-1 at West Ham on Saturday in a game that saw Nemanja Matic sent off, while Mourinho was sent to the stands with one of his assistants.

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Chelsea have lost their discipline too many times already this season and the Portuguese head coach is under real pressure at this early stage of the campaign.

Chelsea have won the last four meetings between these two in all competitions. Stoke last beat the Blues in December 2013 in a thrilling Premier League game that ended 3-2.

Team News

Stoke are set to be without Geoff Cameron, who was injured in Saturday’s loss to Stoke. Ryan Shawcross is close to returning to action and could be named on the bench here.

Chelsea will be without Matic after his red card on Saturday. While Loic Remy, Pedro, Branislav Ivanovic and Thibaut Courtois are all struggling with injuries and are unlikely to make the trip.

Key Points

Stoke’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/W/L

Chelsea’s last five in all competitions: L/L/W/D/L

Key Stat: Chelsea have never beaten Stoke in six previous League Cup games (D3 L3).

Key Player: Bojan – The Spanish attacker has returned from injury and looks to be in good shape. He will look to hurt Chelsea if he starts here.

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Score Prediction

Stoke 1-1 Chelsea – This should be a really close game and could be quite a nervy affair. We’re not expecting bundles of goals but Chelsea should be able to do enough to at least earn a draw in 90 minutes, taking the game into extra time – not that either side will want that.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Stoke vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Stoke City vs. Liverpool

Venue: Britannia Stadium – Sunday, August 9 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Stoke 12/5 – Draw 12/5 – Liverpool 6/5

Match Preview

Stoke host Liverpool on Sunday afternoon in their 2015/16 Premier League season opener in what will be a repeat of their final game of the 2014/15 season, in which Stoke stunned Liverpool 6-1 at the Britannia.

That game ensured the Reds ended a disappointing season in disastrous fashion, while the Potters went into the summer in high spirits after a promising campaign.

Mark Hughes has had another impressive summer as far as transfer dealings are concerned and Stoke look to have strengthened, even with the loss of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to Chelsea.

They will be looking to start the year with another win against Liverpool as they look to improve on last season’s ninth placed finish and perhaps bring European football back to the Britannia.

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A far from impressive preseason campaign saw the Potters win just two of six games, losing their last three games on the bounce coming into the season opener.

On the other hand, Liverpool come into the new year in excellent form, having not lost any of their six preseason matches.

Brendan Rodgers is under pressure to turn things around at Anfield after a disappointing season last time out, but the losses of Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling could make that a tougher task than it seems.

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Plenty of new signings have arrived and the test will be getting them to gel quickly as they look to break back into the top four after their sixth-placed finish last season.

Team News

Stoke will still be without Bojan, although the playmaker is back in training after missing the final five months of last season. Ryan Shawcross is also ruled out, while Marc Wilson and Marko Arnautovic are doubts. Glen Johnson, who joined on a free from Liverpool this summer, could make his debut at right-back.

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has three injury concerns as Jon Flanagan and Daniel Sturridge are ruled out, while Joe Allen is doubtful. New signings Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner and Christian Benteke are all set to start for the Reds in what will be a new-look side. Roberto Firmino may have to settle for a place on the bench as he is not believed to be fit enough to start.

Key Points

Stoke’s preseason form: L/W/W/L/L/L

Liverpool’s preseason form: W/W/W/D/W/W

Key Stat: There have been 16 goals in the last three games between the two sides – an average of 5.3 per game.

Key Player: Christian Benteke – Liverpool’s £32.5 million summer arrival will look to start life as a Red with a goal on the way to helping his new side to three points.

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Score Prediction

Stoke City 2-2 Liverpool – Expecting another open, entertaining game at the Britannia between two sides looking to start the new season with three points. Stoke will be looking to follow up their end of season result with another victory but Liverpool should be out to impress and their new signings should earn them at least a point in this one.

Premier League 2014/15 Season Review: Stoke City

Premier League Final Position: 9th 

Review

Stoke City equalled their highest ever Premier League position of 9th, beating last seasons points tally of 50, with 54. Mark Hughes has been transforming Stoke from a long-ball side to a ball playing side and this season has been very respectable. They have been very difficult to play against at the Britannia and have beaten; Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton, Everton and Arsenal at home. Impressively, they won away at Manchester City and did the double over Spurs.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

Beating Liverpool 6-1 on the final day – what an achievement this was for Stoke. To be leading at 5-0 was quite possibly the most surprising moment of the Premier League season. It showed how they have the ability to exploit a side on the back-foot and was a great way to cap off a good season.

Worst Moment

Losing 2-1 to Burnley at home. This was a disappointing result for Mark Hughes, conceding two goals in as many minutes isn’t just poor defending but it also shows a lack of concentration.

Player of the Year

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Charlie Adam – the Scottish midfielder enjoyed another good campaign, scoring seven goals and registering one assist. He played a pivotal role in the midfield and showed his ability to provide the unthinkable with his wonder goal against Chelsea.

Biggest Win 

Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool (May 24, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Arsenal 3-0 Stoke City (Jan 11, 2015)
Stoke City 1-4 Manchester City (Feb 11, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Stoke need to start avoiding defeats to sides lower in the table if they are to improve on 54 points. Coming 9th is a great achievement and any improvement on that will be another great season.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Stoke vs Liverpool

Competition: Major League Soccer – Stoke City vs. Liverpool FC

Venue: Britannia Stadium – Sunday, May 24 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Stoke 9/4 – Draw 13/5 – Liverpool 11/10

Match Preview

Stoke welcome Liverpool to the Britannia in the final Premier League game of the season for two clubs that have very little to play for on the last day.

Stoke have secured a top half finish and can’t finish any higher or lower than ninth so there is no pressure on them, other than to end the campaign on a high in front of their own fans.

While Liverpool know they can’t finish lower than seventh, though that is highly unlikely and so a place in next season’s Europa League looks to be guaranteed.

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The Reds will be disappointed not to have qualified for the Champions League again but Brendan Rodgers has to try and ensure his players end the season with a positive result, especially after they lost their final home game 3-1 to Crystal Palace last weekend.

The Raheem Sterling situation is not making things easy for the Liverpool manager and so he will be looking forward to watching his side play a game for the last time this season.

Though it won’t be an easy one for the Reds as Stoke have gone unbeaten through their last three at the Britannia.

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They beat Spurs 3-0 in their last home game, and then drew 0-0 at Burnley last week, so they are in good form going into this one.

The reverse fixture this season ended 1-0 to Liverpool at Anfield, while last year’s game at Stoke ended 5-3 to the Reds in a thriller.

Team News

Stoke are without Bojan and Victor Moses. Jack Butland should keep his place in goal as Mark Hughes could name an unchanged side.

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Liverpool are without Daniel Sturridge and Jon Flanagan, while Mamadou Sakho remains a doubt. Sterling should play but may sit out as controversy off the field continues to surround the youngster, who could have played his last game for the club. Steven Gerrard will start in his final game for the Reds.

Key Points

Stoke’s last five: W/D/L/W/D

Liverpool’s last five: D/L/W/D/L

Key Stat: There have been 15 goals in the last three matches at the Britannia between these two in all competitions, an average of five goals per game.

Key Player: Charlie Adam – The Scottish midfielder scored in this game last season and has three goals in his last five.

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Score Prediction

Stoke 2-2 Liverpool – There should be goals here on the final day of the season but the points may be shared in a close game. Stoke are strong at home and should end the season with a positive result against a Liverpool side that will be hoping next season will be a lot better.

United to turn to £8m Premier League star after DOUBLE transfer blow – report

Manchester United are prepared for a goalkeeping merry-go-round this summer as David De Gea looks increasingly unlikely to sign a new contract, and so a new shot-stopper will need to be brought in, with Stoke’s Asmir Begovic now being lined up, according to the Daily Star.

De Gea has reportedly been offered £200,00-a-week to stay at Old Trafford but he is set to reject that offer with just one year to go on his current deal, and so United will have to accept the pending offer Real Madrid are set to put on the table.

Louis Van Gaal is preparing for the worst as he looks to potential replacements for the Spaniard, but the Dutchman’s first-choice replacement, Hugo Lloris, looks out of reach as Spurs are demanding too much.

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United chief executive Ed Woodward values Lloris at £20 million but Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will hold out for nearer £30 million so a deal for the Frenchman looks unlikely.

The Red Devils will therefore turn to Stoke’s Asmir Begovic, who has just one year to go on his deal, and could sign the Bosnian for around £8 million.

Begovic has been in the Premier League with Stoke for five-and-a-half seasons and has established himself as one of the league’s most consistent ‘keepers.

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Stoke would rather cash in on the 27-year-old now rather than lose him for free next summer, with young Englishman Jack Butland waiting in the wings at the Britannia.

Victor Valdes is already at United but it is believed he will remain backup, even if De Gea departs, and so Begovic could be set for a major move this summer.

Would Asmir Begovic be a good signing for Manchester United? Are the Red Devils resigned to losing De Gea now?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Stoke City

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Stoke City

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, April 4th – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Chelsea 1/4 – Draw 9/2 – Stoke 11/1

Match Preview

Chelsea face Stoke City in the late kick off on Saturday night at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues looking to further cement their place at the top of the summit towards winning their first Premier League title since the 2009/2010 season.

For Stoke, a win is much needed after suffering back-to-back defeats before the International break. If the Potters can pick up a win at Stamford Bridge then Chelsea’s lead at the top could be closed to just three points if Manchester City can win at Crystal Palace on Monday night.

Chelsea come into this game six points ahead of title rivals City and still have not lost at home all season with their record standing at eleven wins and three draws, but they do have a game in hand over their nearest challengers so everything seems to be in the Blues’ favour.

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Just before the International break, Chelsea beat Hull City in a hard fought game at the KC Stadium that should have been a lot more straightforward after they took a 2-0 lead.

Stoke City’s last two games have ended in defeat after going on a three-game win streak prior to that, with a home loss to Crystal Palace and a loss away at West Brom. Stoke currently sit in the top half of the table, where they will hope to finish up by the end of the season, perhaps building on last year’s ninth-place finish.

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The reverse fixture saw Chelsea win 2-0 away at the Britannia, with goals from captain John Terry and Cesc Fabregas.

The Blues have won the last eight meetings between the two sides at Stamford Bridge and will be confident of making that nine on Saturday evening.

Team News

Chelsea could be without Diego Costa after the forward withdrew from the Spain squad with a muscular injury and is a major doubt. Petr Cech has come back from Czech Republic duty also with a muscular injury, and so he is a also a huge doubt. Meanwhile John Obi Mikel is in line to come back from his knee injury and could make the squad.

Stoke City will be without Victor Moses who is ineligible to face his parent club, whilst Bojan Krkic is a long-term absentee along with Peter Odemwingie. The good news for the Potters is that Marc Muniesa could return to the back four after suffering with hamstring trouble.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: W/D/W/D/W

Stoke City’s last five: W/W/W/L/L

Key stat: Since Stoke’s promotion to the Premier League, Chelsea have scored 29 times against the Potters in the Premier League, including a 7-0 win at Stamford Bridge the year Chelsea won the title in 2009/2010.

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Key Player: Loic Remy – When Diego Costa doesn’t play, the Frenchman rarely fails to impress and his winner against Hull last time out could give him huge confidence ahead of this one.

Score Prediction

Chelsea 3-0 Stoke City – This should be a routine win for the Blues that will see Chelsea stretch their lead at the top to nine points before City play on Monday.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle vs Stoke

Premier League: Newcastle vs Stoke 
Venue: St. James’ Park – Sunday, February 8 – 14:05
Match Odds: Newcastle 13/10 – Draw 11/5 – Stoke City 11/5

Newcastle take on Stoke City in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon in what looks set to be an intriguing matchup, with both sides coming into the game off the back of wins last weekend.

Newcastle United are hoping to win their first home match under new interim head coach John Carver, following their win at the KC Stadium last Saturday, crushing Hull City 3-0.

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Whilst Stoke City go into the game at St. James’ Park off the back of two wins in their last three matches in the league.

Newcastle are currently sitting in 11th place and a win this Sunday afternoon will see them rise above their opponents Stoke and go into 10th.

The Magpies registered their first win since December 28th with victory against Hull last time out and will now hope to win back-to-back league games for the first time since November.

With their lack of consistency this season it’s no surprise they are lingering around mid-table and for a club the size of Newcastle they should be a lot higher. However at home Newcastle have defeated league leaders Chelsea and last season’s runners-up Liverpool so they will expect to pick up all three points against the Potters.

Newcastle’s home record: Played 11 – Won 5 – Drawn 3 – Lost 3

Stoke City had a mixed January in the Premier League with two wins, a loss and a defeat in the league but ended with two wins on the bounce, along with a win against Rochdale in the FA Cup.

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The Potters are without Bojan for the rest of the season so they will lack some creativity considering how important he has been to the side since he joined from Barcelona last summer. A win for Stoke could send them into 9th if Swansea slip up on Saturday against Sunderland at home.

Stoke City’s away record: Played 12 – Won 4 – Drawn 3 – Lost 5

If you cast your mind back to the reverse fixture at the Britannia back in September, Stoke took all three points thanks to a Peter Crouch goal in a 1-0 win.

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With both teams coming off big wins last weekend it will be hard to call the result in this one. Mark Hughes will want to erase the memory of Stoke’s 5-1 loss at St. James’ Park last season by defeating the Magpies. Expect this to be close.

Newcastle United’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/L/L/W

Stoke City’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/L/W/W

Key Stat: Jon Walters has scored four times in previous nine meetings between the sides in the Premier League.

Key Player: Jon Walters – The Republic Of Ireland striker scored a hat-trick against Queens Park Rangers last week and will be hungry for more goals as he comes into the game thriving on confidence.

Score Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Stoke City – Stoke to earn a hard fought win at St. James’s Park.

FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Rochdale vs. Stoke City

Competition: FA Cup Fourth Round

Venue: Spotland Stadium – Monday, January 26 – 20:00

Match odds: Rochdale 4/1 – Draw 14/5 – Stoke 4/6

Stoke City make a short trip to Rochdale in the FA Cup on Monday night in what promises to be an absolute cracker as Rochdale look to add to what has already been a weekend of shocks in the competition.

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The League One side are chasing promotion and sit in fifth place in the third tier of English football going into the game, and have won their last three in all competitions, including a 1-0 win against Nottingham Forest in the last round of the FA Cup.

Rochdale’s home record in all competitions: Played 18 – Won 7 – Drawn 3 – Lost 8

Stoke are 39 places higher than Rochdale in English football and sit in tenth place in the Premier League. The Potters come into the game in good form having won four of their last six and saw off Wrexham in the third round earlier this month.

Both sides will face strong lineups, with Mark Hughes likely to give Jack Butland and Steve Sidwell a chance to impress. Ryan Shawcross and Jon Walters are doubtful but could make the trip.

Predicted lineups for Rochdale vs. Stoke (via Lineupbuilder.com)

Predicted lineups for Rochdale vs. Stoke (via Lineupbuilder.com)

Stoke have only lost one of their last four away games and that was at Arsenal so they will be confident of progressing to the next round, but will have to take the game seriously to ensure they don’t join the list of Premier League clubs who fell to lower opposition this weekend.

Stoke’s away record in all competitions: Played 13 – Won 5 – Drawn 3 – Lost 5

This will be the 10th meeting between the two sides, and the first in the FA Cup. Stoke have won five of the previous nine meetings with Rochdale winning two and there have been two draws.

The most recent meeting was in the League Cup eight years ago as Rochdale knocked the Potters out of the competition in the first round on penalties, after drawing 2-2 in extra-time.

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Rochdale fans will be hoping for success this time around too and will take confidence from the performances of the Cambridge United, Bradford City, Middlesbrough, Bolton and Blackburn as they all held or beat top half Premier League sides this weekend.

Rochdale’s last five in all competitions: L/L/W/W/W

Stoke City’s last five in all competitions: W/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: Rochdale have only beaten a top flight team in the cup once from 13 attempts (Coventry in 1971)

Key Player: Bojan Krkic – The Stoke playmaker has been excellent since joining in the summer. He’s scored four goals and picked up one assist in 17 games. He will be a key factor is he plays.

Rochdale vs Stoke Prediction: Rochdale 1–2 Stoke City – The Potters to edge what should be a thrilling game.

MLSGB Premier League Predictions – Gameweek 22

As the transfer window has started to spark up for a few sides, we take a look at this weekends round of fixtures and how each team will fair.

Lewis Addley called four correct results with one correct score in the last edition and this week Jamie Ives will put his brain to the test in trying to predict the results in a crucial weekend of football.

Here’s this week’s Premier League predictions:

Saturday 17th January 2015 (All kick-offs are 15:00 unless otherwise stated)

Aston Villa vs Liverpool

Liverpool have finally gained some momentum in their season with an unbeaten run of five. Aston Villa have a run of their own however, as Paul Lambert’s men are without a win in six. We expect an away win here.

Prediction: 0-2


Burnley vs Crystal Palace

Alan Pardew has kicked off his tenure at Selhurst Park with two wins in two after victories against Dover and Tottenham. He will be wanting to continue this when Palace travel to Turf Moor this weekend. Burnley will not make it easy however, as they haven’t lost in their last three.

Prediction: 1-1


Leicester City vs Stoke City

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Stoke have been the example of inconsistency this season and will be hoping to bounce back from the defeat at the Emirates last weekend, and also to avenge the 1-0 loss they suffered at the hands of their opponents in the reverse fixture. Leicester haven’t lost since Boxing Day.

Prediction: 1-0


Queens Park Rangers vs Manchester United

Without a win in four, QPR will need a solid performance to even earn a point against a United side that will still be licking their wounds from the Southampton game. Can’t see anything but an away win.

Prediction: 1-3


Swansea City vs Chelsea

Without Wilfried Bony, Swansea lack an end product and a presence up front. Chelsea, on the other hand, look primed and ready for a title race. Swansea will be as hard to beat as usual, but I think a draw is the best they can hope for.

Prediction: 1-2


Tottenham Hotspur vs Sunderland

Spurs come off the back of an embarrassing defeat to Crystal Palace last time out and Sunderland have lost three of their last four in the league. Both teams will be hoping to pick up the points here but I think Spurs will be too strong.

Prediction 2-1


Newcastle United vs Southampton (17:30)

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The Saturday evening game sees the seasons surprise package Southampton travel to St. James’ Park. Southampton come off the back of beating United at Old Trafford and so will be full of confidence. Newcastle have recently lost their manager. Hard to see anything but an away win.

Prediction: 0-1


Sunday 18 January 2015

West Ham United vs Hull City (13:30)

West Ham have been brilliant this season and Andy Carroll has given them a huge boost mid-season. Hull have struggled to produce the performances that saw them reach an FA Cup final last season. West Ham look too good to beat at the moment. Home win.

Prediction: 2-0


Manchester City vs Arsenal (16:00)

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The stand out fixture of the weekend sees the champions against Arsenal. The Etihad will play host to the Gunners and with Alexis Sanchez in full flow this game should be entertaining. A repeat of the reverse fixture would be perfect. Score draw for us.

Prediction: 2-2


Monday 19 January 2015 (20:00)

Everton vs West Brom

Both teams with struggles, and Everton look like an entirely different side from the side that finished fifth last season. Tony Pulis will have his West Brom side set up strong and they will be hard to beat. A draw wouldn’t be a bad result for either. But I think Everton will turn things around.

Prediction: 2-1


How do you think gameweek 22 will shape up in the Premier League?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Stoke City

Stoke City travel to the Emirates to take on Arsenal on Sunday afternoon with the Gunners seeking revenge after they fell victim to a 3-2 loss in the reverse fixture this season.

The Potters are coming off the back of a three game unbeaten run that includes an away win at Everton, a home win against West Brom and an important draw against Manchester United on New Years Day.

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Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from their below par performance last time out as they fell to Southampton in a 2-0 loss at St Mary’s, and need to win to keep tabs on the top four.

Arsenal’s home record: Played 9 – Won 5 – Drawn 3 – Lost 1

Much of the focus will be on the home side in this encounter as the Gunners are expected to have German international Mesut Ozil available once again and he could potentially start on Sunday.

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Arsene Wenger’s has fielded an unbelievable twelve different combinations in defence this season. An unsettled backline being one of the reasons why Arsenal have struggled thus far.

And Mark Hughes will hope that Bojan can wreak havoc against the Arsenal defence as he did at the Britannia earlier in the season.

Stoke City’s away record: Played 10 – Won 3 – Drawn 3 – Lost 4

Stoke will be without Mame Biram Diouf however as the Senegal striker is away at the African Cup of Nations.

There is hope for this Arsenal side though, as they have won their last three at home in Premier League and enjoyed a 2-0 victory over Hull in front of their home fans last weekend in the FA Cup.

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Their recent form against their opponents hasn’t been good enough however, as they have lost the last two meetings with Stoke. Could this be a third straight win against Arsenal for Mark Hughes’s men?

Arsenal’s last five:W/D/W/W/L

Stoke City’s last five: D/L/W/W/D

Key Stat: Arsenal are undefeated in 26 of their last 27 Premier League games at the Emirates.

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – The Chile international has been a sensation since his move to the Emirates last summer and most of Arsenal’s attacking play will go through him.

Score Prediction: Arsenal 2 – 1 Stoke City