On September 12th, Stoke City will travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal. Both teams have had disappointing starts to the season with Arsenal yet to register a win at Emirates Stadium and Stoke yet to register a win at all. Arsenal especially will be looking to kick start their season and get their first win at the Emirates. Stoke will be looking to get anything they can and will want to avoid another loss. The two teams have created a bit of a rivalry over the past few years, so this game could get very interesting.
Going to the Emirates is always a difficult task for Stoke, and it will be made even tougher as they have a few key players with fitness and suspension issues. They will still be without captain Ryan Shawcross as he recovers from his back surgery and will still be out for another few months. They’ll be without Peter Odemwingie as he recovers from his hamstring injury. Marko Arnautovic, Glen Johnson, and Mame Biram Diouf are all injury doubts. Along with the injuries, Charlie Adam and Ibrahim Afellay are suspended after red cards in their last match.
The Gunners only have a few injuries, but all of the injuries are long term injuries. After his knee surgery, Danny Welbeck will be out until sometime between Christmas and March, depending on if you ask Arsene Wenger or Roy Hodgson. Tomas Rosicky will be out until January after his knee surgery. Jack Wilshere is not healing as quickly as Arsenal initially hoped, so he is still a few weeks away from a return.
- Stoke have lost in all seven of their visits to the Emirates Stadium.
- Stoke have lost their last 13 games against Arsenal in London, with their last away win coming in August 1981.
- Arsenal have yet to score at home this season, and two of their three goals overall have been own goals, despite taking the most shots in the league and having created the most expected goals in the league.
Arsenal: Mesut Ozil
Arsenal’s record signing will look to make a huge impression in this match. The German has impressed so far this season, and if he continues to create chances his strikers will eventually start finishing them. Ozil made his home debut for the Gunners in this fixture two years ago. In that game he had two assists and his shot was parried out for the third goal. He will hope to put up a similar performance this time around.
Stoke City: Xherdan Shaqiri
Stoke made a few good signings this summer, but Xherdan Shaqiri was without doubt the crowning gem of the summer. The Swiss international is a very talented player and one that has incredible technical quality. He’s part of the new brand of Stoke City which is full of more technical players. The former Bayern man assisted Stoke’s goal on his debut and will hope for more of the same against Arsenal.
While Stoke cause Arsenal a lot of problems at the Britannia, they struggle mightily when they travel to north London. Stoke are always a tough side and are yet to lose away from home this season, but this should be a win for the Gunners.
Prediction: 2-0 Arsenal