Sunday, 23 October 2011

Arsenal 2-1 Stoke City (23.10.2011) All Goals & Full Highlights

Arsenal host Stoke on Sunday at the Emirates as Arsene Wenger's men look to continue their climb up the table

Date: 23rd October 2011

Venue: Emirates Stadium

Referee: Lee Mason

Probable Line-ups

Arsenal: Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos, Arteta, Walcott, Song, Rosicky, Gervinho, Van Persie.

Stoke City: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Upson, Wilson, Delap, Whelan, Etherington, Pennant, Walters, Jones.

Match Preview

The Gunners come into this game off the back of a hard-fought and gritty 0-1 win against Marseille in the Champions League midweek. Aaron Ramsey scored the only goal of the game in stoppage time as Arsenal went top of their group. However, in the league they are two places and two points below Stoke City and a win on Sunday could see the Gunners rise up to as high as seventh in the table. They defeated Sunderland 2-1 last week, thanks to a superb 83rd minute free-kick by skipper Robin van Persie. Van Persie is carrying the Gunners on his shoulders at this moment in time. He is bang in form and has scored 27 goals in his last 33 games for the club. On the injury front, Carl Jenkinson will miss the match due to a knee injury he picked up in the Champions League win over Marseille. Gibbs, Diaby and Vermaelen are all still out.

The Potters are riding high both domestically and in Europe. Their 3-0 thumping win over Maccabi Tel Aviv took them to the top spot of their table in the Europa League and they also defeated Fulham 2-0 last week in the league. Manager Tony Pulis has made Stoke very hard to break down and they are a very well organised defensive unit. Matthew Upson and Jonathan Woodgate have bedded in well and have helped Stoke continue their impressive performances this season. They have however not won at Arsenal since 1981 and will have a tough task of changing this stat. Former Gunner Jermaine Pennant will face a late fitness test as he is doubtful to start with a hamstring problem. Higginbotham amde his return from inury and could feature on Sunday.

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