Stoke v Arsenal

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TEAM NEWS
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is considering selecting Alexis Sanchez for the first time since he suffered a hamstring injury in November.

New signing Mohamed Elneny is eligible but is unlikely to start.

Stoke's Xherdan Shaqiri, who missed the win over Norwich, is again sidelined with a hamstring injury, while Geoff Cameron is out with an ankle problem.

Marko Arnautovic is fit, while Phil Bardsley and Stephen Ireland may feature after recovering from injuries.

MOTD COMMENTATOR'S NOTES
Guy Mowbray: "This could be the game that shows whether or not Arsenal have the mettle to be champions.

"It was questioned again after losing two points late on at Liverpool, but I thought the way the Gunners came from behind twice showed steel, and Arsene Wenger's upbeat demeanour post-match told a story.

"His team have had a perceivable phobia about trips to the Britannia since the Tony Pulis days (and those 'rugby team' comments!), and never was it more evident than in the first half of last season's visit.

"If in-form Stoke start like that again, they could sign off from home for a four-game road-trip with a seventh win in 11 Premier League games.

"Top four? Not such a potty thought."

Twitter: @Guymowbray

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Stoke manager Mark Hughes: "You look at Arsenal's form and see what they have been able to produce, and you have to say they are the most consistent.

"They know it is a difficult game for them, too, because we have enjoyed good results on home turf.

"When Arsenal come to town, the crowd get right behind us, and the circumstances of the game will always excite them. We are looking forward to the test."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "We have had difficulties at Stoke. They have a good record against us in recent years, and I must say as well they have overall a good record against Man United, City, the big teams.

"They have done very well. They have moved forward as well because they have improved their creative potential with players like Arnautovic, Afellay, Shaqiri, Bojan - they can create and play.

"It is a good challenge for us as well because they have to maintain their record and we can show we have taken a big step forward and can beat them."

LAWRO'S PREDICTION
These two back-to-back away games will give a real indication of the strength of the Gunners' title bid.

I think they are going to win and, if they do get four points from trips to Liverpool and Stoke in the space of four days, then I think a lot of the cynical old pros out there will be looking at them and thinking they are definitely favourites to win this league.

Prediction: 0-2

FROM BBC
 
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At 0.7, Olivier Giroud has scored more league non-penalty goals per 90 than Mueller, Ronaldo, Griezmann... and just below Messi (0.74)
 

JimJams

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If only he was actually as good as any of those players eh!?

I think Arsenal will get a convincing win here.
 

smat

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I think Arsenal will get a convincing win here.
Is this one of your jokes?

Our annual ass-handing at Stoke. We'll be third after this and I'll be able to revive the crisis thread again.
 

JimJams

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No I think Stoke are a much better footballing side than in previous years, especially going back to the Pulis days and Arsenal do better against sides that try to play rather than those that try to sit back. Also if their front trio all perform you could well be in the shit but when one of them doesn't perform the rest generally don't. A bit "all or nothing".
 

smat

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No I think Stoke are a much better footballing side than in previous years, especially going back to the Pulis days and Arsenal do better against sides that try to play rather than those that try to sit back. Also if their front trio all perform you could well be in the shit but when one of them doesn't perform the rest generally don't. A bit "all or nothing".
Unfortunately I think they're canny enough to know not to play football against us. They've evolved but they're still carrying a lot of Pulis genes (inbred for generations, of course), and they're able to revert to them with players like Walters, Cameron and Adam kicking the shit out of people. Would be surprised to see Arnautovic, Bojan and Shaqiri all start.
 
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Shaqiri out, Arnautovic in...but only just.

As with most teams, Stoke raise their game against us. Will be a toughy. Especially if this shit happens again...

Charlie-Adam-Alexis-Sanchez.png


He actually didn't even get penalised for that, we didn't get a free kick.
 

SALTIRE

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He actually didn't even get penalised for that, we didn't get a free kick.

Neither you should the photo makes it look worse than it is, the Arsenal player is diving to the ground anyway.

5 - 1 to Stoke.
 

SC49

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Fuck these rugby c***, lets smash em.

Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Kosh, Monreal, Ramsey, Elneny, Campbell, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud
 
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Fuck these rugby c***, lets smash em.

Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Kosh, Monreal, Ramsey, Elneny, Campbell, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud
Hope Elneninineny starts, Flam played midweek so it wouldn't be disloyal for Arsene to rest him surely?
 

smat

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No Ozil. No Sanchez.

Let's just get this over with.
 

Storzy

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No Ozil. No Sanchez.

Let's just get this over with.

Well I wasn't expecting us to win it anyway... would be surprised with a draw now. :(
 

Benji

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I'd love to hear a Stoke fan explain why they boo Aaron Ramsey.
 

Tesl

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I'd love to hear a Stoke fan explain why they boo Aaron Ramsey.

It's inexcusable. There can be no justification for it and its genuinely vile.

I think Arsenal will win this today.
 

SALTIRE

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Ffs why is the stream I'm watching this on have Andy fucking Townsend on commentary. Thought he was quitting! Prick! :mad:
 

G.B

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I'd love to hear a Stoke fan explain why they boo Aaron Ramsey.

cos he gave them the "shush finger" when he scored against them after they'd berated him mercilessly for breaking his leg in 6 places, the cheating whinge that he is. they actually wrote about it in the fanzine and encouraged fans to have a go at him, and chanted shawcross' name when ramsey came on as sub at the britania.

TL;DR they're stupid, 6 fingered c***.
 

Stevencc

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Perhaps those extra bones that constitute a sixth finger cause individuals from Stoke to have less compassion for people who suffer the misfortune of a broken bone?
 

Benji

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Arsenal look a bit rudderless without Ozil and Sanchez. Probably more down to replacing Ozil with Chamberlain who doesn't really have the required quality of distribution.
 

smat

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Walcott's been useless and we're nowhere near as composed without Ozil. Defending reasonably well though, better than I expected. Thought Chamberlain had a good half personally, but obv his passing isn't going to be as good as Ozil's. Been much better at holding onto the ball than he was at Anfield.
 

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Walcott diving around more than Darcey Bussell. Shocking to see. :ffs:
 

Jackinky

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I love how Arsenal's fans are so bad that they have to nick one of our songs and then change one word even though "We've got Ozil" doesn't work anywhere near as well as "We've got Payet".
 

JimJams

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Great double save by Cech from Bojan earlier.
 

JimJams

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He's at it again.
 

JimJams

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Walcott looks pretty pissed at coming off.
 

smat

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Doubled our points tally from Liverpool and Stoke away last season.

#champions
 

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