Rounding off the weekend’s Premier League action, Stoke City play hosts to Arsenal this afternoon with kickoff at 4.15pm.
Four positions and nine points separate these sides in the Premier League table, with the Gunners hoping a win can propel them back into pole position.
But the Potters have always proved a difficult proposition for the north London outfit, their attritional style seemingly the ultimate nemesis to Arsenal’s tiki-taka-inspired philosophy, and boast a respectable two wins from their last six encounters with Arsene Wenger’s side.
Of course, Stoke are a slightly different kind of animal nowadays; their thuggish core has softened slightly to make room for three sensational attacking talents in Bojan, Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri.
But history has a habit of repeating itself in the Premier League – so could the key game stats shed some light on the potential outcome? Here are SEVEN statistics Football Fancast view as vitally important to today’s game.
Stoke City have lost just one of their seven Barclays Premier League games at the Britannia Stadium against Arsenal (W4 D2 L1).
Peter Crouch has scored eight goals against Arsenal, the joint-most against any opponent in his Premier League career along with Blackburn Rovers.
Mark Hughes is unbeaten on home soil as an opposition coach against Arsene Wenger in his last seven Premier League matches (W5 D2), spread across five different clubs. Overall at home his record in the league versus Wenger is (W6 D2 L2).
11 of the 14 goals Stoke have scored against Arsenal in Premier League history have been netted in the first half.
Stoke scored with three of their four shots on target against Arsenal in this fixture last season and all of them came in the first half.
Arsenal have conceded seven goals in their last two Premier League away games. They had let in eight in the previous nine on their travels this campaign.
Olivier Giroud has the best minutes per goal ratio of any Premier League player this season to score more than five times, netting every 117 minutes on average
Jonathan Walters has scored in three of his last four appearances for Stoke in all competitions; this after going nine games in a row without scoring for the Potters.
Walters has scored in three of his five Premier League appearances against the Gunners at the Britannia Stadium.