Writer: Tom Mckeon
Date:Saturday August 25 2012
After last week`s 1-1 draw against Reading where it was the same old story away from home for the Potters , I think it`s essential Stoke get off to a good start at home this season.
Stoke vs Arsenal really has become a grudge match, for various reasons, and both teams will be desperate to make their mark on the new season.
Arsenal are always a good team who are capable of scoring goals, but I think even the most biased Arsenal fan will be worried about tomorrow, after a 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland on the opening day and losing the likes of Van Persie and Song, Stoke away is probably the worst fixture they could`ve hoped for.
I never underestimate Arsenal, despite our success against them at the Britannia I`m always wary of the quality of footballers they have, but Lukas Podolski is no Van Persie, and without a holding midfielder, we have every chance of repeating that success.
If Stoke can impose their style early on, which they are more than capable of, we have a terrific chance. It`s all about who imposes their style, if we allow Arsenal to get a foothold of the game then we'll be in trouble, they may not be the great side they once were, but they`re still Arsenal and they`re more than capable of winning any football match.
I was talking about how crucial the first goal was against Reading last week, and I think that`s the case even more this weekend.
Stoke`s threat from set pieces could be the difference, if Stoke play like they did against Man City last year I can only see one winner, but all too often we didn`t produce that kind of performance last season, and we`ll be in trouble if we don't play that same high intensity, direct, and most importantly incisive football.
There`s no doubt it`s going to be a close game and a draw would still be a good result, but looking at the strength of our defence and the Potters` threat in the air, I think Stoke will just about edge it tomorrow.
Mckeon predicts - Stoke 2-1 Arsenal
Date:Saturday August 25 2012
Stoke's March goal of the month (Friday March 27 2015)
Adam wins Crystal Palace man of the match poll (Friday March 27 2015)
Stoke manager Hughes signs contract extension (Friday March 27 2015)
The Stoke City Injury Table Situation (Friday March 27 2015)
Crystal Palace controversially beat Stoke (Monday March 23 2015)
N'Zonzi wins West Brom man of the match poll (Sunday March 22 2015)
Butland promoted to senior England squad (Sunday March 22 2015)
Stats: Stoke City v Crystal Palace (Sunday March 22 2015)
Butland extends contract (Saturday March 21 2015)
The Stoke City Walking Wounded - Injury List (Friday March 20 2015)
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