Arsenal is back home at the Emirates Stadium in London this Saturday, December 10th as they host Stoke City in an important English Premier League match. The Gunners downed West Ham United 5-1 away last week in a big London derby with help from an Alexis Sanchez hat trick while Stoke managed to shut out newly-promoted Burnley FC 2-0 at home. Arsenal then visited Switzerland on Tuesday and beat FC Basel 4-1 in the European Champions League with Lucas Perez scoring a hat trick.
Arsenal vs Stoke City – Pinnacle Soccer Betting Line:
- Pinnacle currently lists Arsenal as the favorites to win the game at -275 with Stoke +851 and a draw at +450
Arsenal vs Stoke City – Head to Head:
- These two clubs met twice in league action last season with Arsenal winning 2-0 at home and playing to a 0-0 draw in Stoke. Overall, these two sides have met 103 times in the past with Arsenal winning 54, losing 25 and drawing the other 24. Arsenal has just the lone win in the last 18 games along with three draws and 14 defeats. Each team has two wins, two losses and a draw in the last five meetings. Arsenal has 10 wins, five losses and three draws in the last 18 encounters. There have been just four draws in their past 30 meetings.
Arsenal – A Closer Look:
The Gunners are still one of the Premier League’s hottest teams and have climbed into second place in the standings. They have 31 points on the season from nine wins, four draws and a lone defeat, which came at the hands of Liverpool 4-3 at home in the season opener. Arsenal has scored 33 goals and allowed 14 against after 14 contests and are unbeaten in their past 13 Premier League matches. They sit just three points behind league-leading Chelsea and are one up on both Liverpool and Manchester City. They also have a four-point bulge on fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsenal’s recent 18-game undefeated string in all competitions ended at 11 wins and seven draws just over a week ago when manager Arsene Wenger foolishly fielded a sub-par squad against Southampton in the League Cup. The changes resulted in a 2-0 loss and exit from the competition. Wenger also has injury problems as usual as midfielder Santi Cazorla and out until March while forwards Chuba Akpom and Danny Welbeck aren’t expected back until January. In addition, defender Per Mertesacker is out with a long-term injury and could miss the rest of the season. Defender Mathieu Debuchy is out until January while forward Yaya Sonogo and defender Hector Bellerin are doubtful for the game.
Stoke City – A Closer Look:
Stoke City enters the contest as a top-10 team as they currently occupy eighth place in the 20-team league. Stoke has 19 points from five wins, four draws and five defeats. They’ve scored 16 goals and allowed 19 against. Stoke has been hot lately with five victories, a loss and a draw in their past seven outings. They’ve also posted three clean sheets in three of those wins. However, four of the five wins came against clubs that are currently in the bottom six of the standings. When playing against the league’s top teams, Stoke has managed a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford with Manchester United and they were drilled at home 4-1 by Manchester City and 4-0 by Tottenham.
Stoke is 15 points behind the league lead, 11 back of a top-four spot and eight ahead of the relegation zone. Stoke manager Mark Hughes also has several injuries to deal with as defenders Bruno Martins Indi and Ryan Shawcross are doubtful for the game. In addition, defenders Phil Bardsley and Geoff Cameron are likely out for a few more weeks while goaltender Jack Butland is close to returning. Midfielders Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay are each expected to miss another couple of months of action.
Arsenal vs Stoke City – Takeaway:
Stoke is the type of team that has caused problems for Arsenal in the past, but the home side needs to take all three points to keep up to table-topping Chelsea.
By Ian S. Palmer