Arsenal face Stoke City on Saturday in what would be their 5th Premier League game of the season.
It would also be Arsenal’s first home game after the shutting of a relatively barren transfer window where fans were disappointed that the club couldn’t bring in a striker.
Stoke City since their return to English top flight have been something of a waterloo for Arsenal, with the Gunners having never won at the Britannia Stadium, but ironically Stoke have never won at the Emirates since their return to top flight. But on Saturday, the talking points would be;
1. Arsenal would be facing their fans for the first time since the embarrassing end to the transfer window that saw them fail to sign that much needed striker before it shut.
With Giroud particularly going to be a target of the boo boys from the home fans after his abysmal showing for France that earned him boos from his countrymen; the whole team is likely to have a hostile atmosphere in their own home and this will be a game where the team would have to prove to their fans that they can challenge for the title as their manager believes they can.
2. Stoke City would be without two key players after Charlie Adams and Ibrahim Afellay got sent off in their last game against West Brom and would represent a huge loss for them, given Afellay’s very decent start to life in Stoke and Charlie Adams talismanic qualities.
Arsenal have won the 7 Premier League games they have played at home against Stoke City, which represents their best home record against any of the current Premier League teams – so it will certainly be worth checking the latest odds on an Arsenal win for the game.
Arsenal have won 13 home games in a row in all competitions, dating back to 1983, Also their longest winning-streak of that nature against any side in the club’s history.
In the 7 games Arsenal have won against Stoke at home, they have scored 17 goals and conceded just 3.
Stoke City have not won any of their last 7 away games in the Premier League Drawing 4 and losing 3
Arsenal has scored 3 times against Stoke City his joint best tally against any team (Sunderland 3)
Arsenal have the League’s highest possession figure at 65.3% average possession, with second placed Manchester United at 59.5%
Arsenal have scored only 5.6% of their chances this season
Santi Cazorla has created 16 chances already this season, which is top in the league
Under Mark Hughes, Stoke City have recorded an average of 48.6% possession as against 39.4% under Tony Pulis
Arsenal will be without Danny Welbeck through injury, with Wenger confirming he will be out till Christmas after a surgery, Tomas Rosicky also had a similar surgery, so he would be out for roughly the same period, Jack Wilshire will also seat out this one having not recovered yet from his fracture. Per Mertesacker is back in full training, Laurent Koscielny is fit also.
Stoke City will be without Ryan Shawcross (Back), Bojan (ACL) through injury, while Afellay and Charlie Adams will miss the game through Suspension.