It is a match that hardly has any importance for either side. Arsenal have secured the Champions League spot and Stoke have avoided relegation.
So one gets the feeling Arsene Wenger might not be able to resist the urge to play a few youngsters. Nasri isn’t available because of an injuryu so he is the only new absentee. Almunia and Adebayor remain out with Fabianski back fit.
I think Vela and Ramsey could start today. And maybe one more youngster. I would love to see a start for Wilshere but he will probably not be risked so he remains fit for the second leg of FA Youth Cup. Though he at least deserves a substitute appearance.
So the line up I expect:
Sagna Toure Song Gibbs
Walcott Ramsey Fabregas Arshavin
Maybe Diaby or Denilson start in place of Arshavin and Fabregas respectively as well.
Moving on to the team’s forms now. Arsenal have only conceded 4 goals at the Emirates in their last 9 games, and those came in the last game here against Chelsea.
On the other hand Stoke have won two of their last three away games.
Nicklas Bendtner has scored three of Arsenal’s last 4 goals.
And Stoke’s famous long throws have only managed to get one goal away from home.
So Arsenal will be looking for revenge and should get it. It isn’t easy to beat the Gunners at the Emirates. Though Stoke’s physical nature of the game could prove to be a menace.
Lets see what happens on this “Arsene Wenger Day” when fans will first march for our manager before the game and then during the game, they will be singing his name. That’s the fans gift for Arsene. The players’ gift should be a win!
Prediction: 2-0 to Arsenal.