Hovering just three points above the regulation zone, Stoke will need to pull together as they face Arsenal at the Brittania. The Potters are, however, a very competent side at home and will not make it easy for the traveling Gunners. Robert Huth is an injury concern and should be replaced by Marc Wilson to partner Ryan Shawcross in defense.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Wilshere, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud
The Gunners suffered a 2-0 home loss to Bayern Munich in midweek but will now have to focus on their challenge for the Premier league title. Arsene Wenger’s men will need to be at their attacking best to break down a stubborn Stoke defence. Mesut Ozil returns from his ‘break’ to play ‘in the hole’ behind striker Olivier Giroud. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was also rested last week and is expected to start on the right of midfield with Cazorla on the left.
So sad I cannot watch Stoke vs Arsenal this week… Got event to do for the whole night. :'(
— Köscielny’s Pöcket (@KosAssh) February 27, 2014
going to go with a 3 or 4 goal victory for Arsenal against stoke, and a clean sheet.
— Little Bit Stoked (@plnashwing) February 27, 2014
I would rather @Arsenal play Vermaelen at left back to cope with Stoke’s physical game
— Alex Mutuku (@Princekyalo) February 27, 2014
A fan captures Aaron Ramsey scoring against Stoke, the team he played against when he had a horrific leg break few years back. Must have felt good.
The purchase of Mesut Ozil earlier this year was all over the minds of Arsenal fans that they forgot a certain Spaniard was their best player last season. Now getting consistent runs after a mid-season injury layoff, Santi Cazorla will be key if the Gunners are going to break a stubborn Stoke at the Brittania.
Peter Crouch has scored seven Barclays Premier League goals against the Gunners; only against Blackburn (8) has he been more prolific.
Arsenal have only scored in the first half of three of their last 13 Barclays Premier League matches.
Arsenal have won seven and lost just one of the last 10 Barclays Premier League games against Stoke City, but won none of the last three trips to the Britannia Stadium (W0 D2 L1).
Peter Crouch has scored four goals his last six Premier League appearances at the Britannia Stadium.
Only five teams in the Premier League have taken more points on home soil than Stoke have at the Britannia this season (21).
Only Tottenham (29) have earned more points away from home than Arsenal (26) this season.
Stoke have scored the joint-fewest headed goals this season (2) while only Liverpool (11) have netted more headers than Arsenal (10).
Olivier Giroud has scored the opening goal of a game more often than any other player in the Premier League this season (7).
Arsenal have hit the target with 55.3% of their shots, a divisional high shooting accuracy.
The Potters have committed more fouls than any other team in the Premier League (360) and picked up the most cards (58 yellows and three reds).