Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday February 26 2010
Saturday 27th February
Arsenal make their second visit to the Brit this year after we thumped them in the FA Cup last month but they'll be sterner opposition this time around as Arsene Wenger concentrates on closing the gap at the top of the League
The Gunners' boss knows that he has to tackle Rory Delap's throws to stand any chance to getting his first win at Stoke for over twenty years:
'You know Stoke have scored 15 goals from set-pieces, 14 at home and the 14 at home a big part is down to their long throws.
'But it is a team who plays football as well, I have seen them recently in the games and they have a good mixture between that efficiency and their play. I believe technically it is a team that has improved tremendously since last season.'
Despite the midweek replay and extra time, Stoke should be able to rely on at least three fresh pairs of legs. Matty Etherington is reported to be lined up for a quick return from injury, whilst Abdoulaye Faye and Andy Wilkinson are both now available after completing their respective two and one match bans.
You can be certain that all Arsenal's eyes will be on the long throw expert, but it seems that Wenger has heard the latest shocking news that we can play football as well!
Arsenal are missing some critical players through injury with Arshavin, Diaby, Gallas, Merida and Van Persie all out, but they may have Eduardo back. So it looks likely it'll be the same line-up that beat Sunderland 2-0 at the Emirates last week.
Most of the Arsenal team need no introdution and Fabregas will always be a danger with 12 league goals (15 in all competitions) so far.
Arsenal have never won at the Brit after they suffered a 2-1 defeat last season and the 3-1 win for the mighty Potters in the FA cup last month.
Yet again I worry that the referee will take centre-stage at the Brit. Come on Peter Walton, prove me wrong!
Sunday 7th March: Chelsea (away) kick-off: 4pm * FA Cup (Sky Sports TV)
Wednesday 10th March: Burnley (away) kick-off: 7.45pm
Saturday 13th March: Aston Villa (home) kick-off: 3pm
Date:Friday February 26 2010
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