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
Butland handed number one shirt (Friday July 31 2015)
Wilkinson handed contract until end of the year (Thursday July 30 2015)
Bachmann moves to Ross County on loan (Tuesday July 28 2015)
Afellay completes Stoke switch (Monday July 27 2015)
Afellay undergoing Stoke medical (Monday July 27 2015)
Stoke transfer window- Goalkeepers (Saturday July 25 2015)
Stoke lose to Brentford as they travel to Evian (Saturday July 25 2015)
Hughes to finally capture Barcelona's Traore (Saturday July 25 2015)
Bojan returns in Brentford friendly (Saturday July 25 2015)
Stoke could break transfer record for Yarmolenko (Sunday July 19 2015)
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