We’re finally back on a normal weekend schedule. After a crazy opening game Leicester last week which saw us come out 4-3 victors I’m sure most Arsenal fans will be hoping for a less dramatic encounter come Saturday.
Going into our trip to Bet365 stadium we could finally be looking to break the theory of Stoke being our bogey team. Lately we’ve showed we can battle with Stoke having not lost to them in our last five games (WWDWL). Not only that but we finally got the better of them at their place last season with that 4-1 win in which Giroud, Alexis and Ozil all got on the scoresheet.
Luckily though, we look to be going into the game stronger than we did against Leicester last week. On the defensive side of things Arsene Wenger has said that Per Mertesacker, Shkodran Mustafi and Francis Coquelin should all make the squad in some way.
This news will without doubt put Arsenal fans at rest after watching the mismatched three man defence of the opening day. Now with somewhat experienced centre backs looking to return there should be more assurance at the back as we look to make it two wins out of two.
Going forward though Alexis Sanchez is still a doubt with his abdominal strain. Wenger said:
“For Sanchez it looks too early, our medical team think Saturday is too soon but he should be available for Liverpool.”
However, we all know that the Chilean is a seemingly tireless man who could even try to force himself back into the matchday squad but that may not be the best thing just yet. Wenger addressed this by saying:
“His recovery is going very well, he’s working very hard but we have to be careful.”
After the Leicester game, Wenger could be in for a selection headache for our game against Stoke. All three of our strikers on the pitch managed to get themselves a goal which might cause a bit of a dilemma. Lacazette will probably be the fans choice but with Stoke offering quite a physical test this might be a better job for Giroud. The two also looked to combine well together in the latter stages of the game last week so that could also be an option if things become a bit static during the game.
Looking closer at Stoke though they do have some promising signs despite some not so favourable records. They’ll be hoping new loan signing Jese Rodriguez from PSG and formerly of Real Madrid can help improve their record of one point against the top six of last season.
Last week The Potters left Goodison Park empty handed after conceding to a returning Wayne Rooney. However, only conceding the one goal away from home could give them confidence going into this game. Let’s just hope everyone is in sync on Saturday evening and yet another set of three points should be ours.