The Gunners have not had a great start to their 2015-16 campaign and have been able to take 7 points from their first four games. They lost their first game against West Ham and drew at home against Liverpool. They have looked good at times but have missed the spark for large chunks of the four games. A solitary goal won them the last game but they will need a bit more if they want to keep their title challenge alive.
Stoke City have had a torrid start to the season with just 2 points from 4 games. They lost 1-0 at home to West Brom and will be keen to get their first victory in this season. However, the Emirates might not be the right place for that and Mark Hughes will want his team to play at their best in the game against Arsenal. This article is a preview of the match between the two teams. We have also added Predictions and Team News in this article.
The Arsenal vs Stoke City game will be played on Saturday the 12th of September at the Emirates Stadium in London. The kickoff is scheduled at 3:00 pm BST (7:30 pm IST)
Arsene Wenger will be happy to hear that the French defender Laurient Koscielny who was not fit for the game against Serbia will be fit to start against Stoke beside Per Metersacker after missing two games. The biggest causality for Wenger will be the injury to Danny Welbeck who may not play for the club for at least a few months. Jack Wilshere is also not available for the game but will be joining the squad in the coming weeks.
Ben Affeley and Charlie Adam were both sent off in the game against WBA. They will miss this game at the Emirates due to suspension. Ryan Shawcross who impressed last season is still sidelined due to injury. Hughes will take the call on Glen Johnson, Mame Biram Diouf and Marko Arnautovic all of whom are injury doubters.
Arsenal played Theo Walcott in a false nine position last game but that did not get the best out of the team. They need a focal point with whom the mid-fielders can play. Giroud should start this game in his usual position and this will give Cameroon and Muniesa a hard time in front of goal. They will also have to deal with the quality of Alexis Sanchez and the vision of Mesut Ozil both of whom looked good in patches in the last few games.
However, Stokes front line boasts of names like Shaqiri, Bojan, Odemwinge and Coruch all of whom looked good against WBA. Koscielny who will be back after missing two games will be put under immense pressure by Stoke’s front line. But the mid-field battle should be Arsenal’s especially at home. Cazorla and Ramsey will make merry in the absence of Charlie Adam and Stoke may well have a long day ahead of them at the Emirates.
Arsenal have not started the season well but have slowly found a bit of rhythm. In front of a packed Emirates, Arsenal will back themselves to get the work done with minimum fuzz. But the quality in the Stoke team may prove to be a hurdle between Arsenal and the three points on offer.
Our Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Stoke