Arsenal vs. Stoke City – Match Preview
Venue and Timings
The match will kick-off at the Emirates on 2nd February 2013 at 1500 GMT (2000 PST and 2030 IST).
Arsene Wenger has ruled out Gibbs for another 4-6 weeks so we might see the new signing Nacho Monreal in the starting XI.
Mikel Arteta was to be tested this morning and it is likely for him to be back. If he does not make it into the starting XI, he could be used from the bench.
Vermaelen might not play due to his ankle issue.
Andy Wilkinson and Geoff Cameron have recovered from their injuries and could be used at right-back and left-back respectively.
It is more likely for Stoke to use four defenders at the back, and not three.
Stoke 0 – 0 Arsenal
Stoke 1 – 1 Arsenal
Arsenal 3 – 1 Stoke
Stoke 3 – 1 Arsenal
Arsenal 1 – 0 Stoke
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) : The 23-year old England attacking midfielder and center-forward has made quite a mark in the Premier League this season. He has appeared in 9 matches in which he has scored 8 goals and made 6 assists. His transition to the attack has proved benficial for Wenger considering his excellent finishing skills and his key passes. Walcott provides good counter attack threat. he likes to play as a dribbler and he enjoys making short passes.
Peter Crouch (Stoke): The 31-year old England forward happens to be a great striker. He has scored 5 goals and has made 3 assists from 16 appearances in all competitions. Though his holding onto the ball is weak, his height helps him to make strong aerial duels. Crouch likes to make short passes and he does not dive onto tackles.
My prediction: 3 – 1 to Arsenal. At the Emirates, Arsenal have always been better than Stoke, and so when both the teams play on Saturday, Arsenal would try to pick up a lot of goals. Stoke will however resist it, but they might score one due to the instability in Arsenal’s defence.
Written by Rida Mehtab (@RidaaMehtaab on Twitter)