Stoke City vs Arsenal
Stoke City vs Arsenal

With four matches to go, Stoke sit 14<sup>th in the league and well clear of the drop zone. However, while the Potters may not have much motivation to win this game (with nothing to fight for at this stage) the prospect of keeping the Britannia a fortress is something they always aim for and this time should be no different.

Chelsea's Champions League semi-final triumph over Barcelona in their midweek game means Arsenal now need to make sure they finish third in the league. This is because if the Blues go on to beat Bayern Munich, on the Germans' home turf, in the final on 19 May, the team finishing fourth in the Premier League will have to be content with Europa League action next season.

Arsenal are third with a three-point lead over Newcastle United, who have a game in hand. The Gunners have managed only one point from their last couple of games and cannot afford to drop any more now. This is, arguable, the most difficult of the three games left this season.

One does not need to be a football pundit to know how Stoke play at home - a physical style of football that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is very distressed about. Things are not going to be much different this time.

The match will be available live on in the UK and in the US

Team News: For Stoke, defender Andy Wilkinson looks to be out for the rest of the season, after injuring himself against Newcastle last week. Midfielder Salif Diao and striker Mamady Sidibe, who are both suffering from knee injuries, will also miss this tie for Tony Pulis' team.

Striker Theo Walcott is unlikely to feature again for Arsenal this term after picking up a hamstring injury against Chelsea last week. Wenger haves a few names missing in midfield as well. Abou Diaby is a doubt for this clash, while Mikel Arteta, and Jack Wilshere, along with centre-back Per Mertesacker, remain sidelined and will take no further part in this season.


  • The Gunners have won four of their last five league games against Stoke. However, the Potters beat Arsenal 3-1 when they visited the Britannia last season.
  • Stoke are on a good home run having won three of their last four matches.
  • The Potters have the worst scoring record in the league this season. They have managed only 32 goals so far, while Arsenal captain van Persie has netted 27 times, on his own.
  • The Dutchman also has 63 shots on target from inside the box, while the whole Stoke team has only 61.
  • Arsenal won the reverse fixture in October 3-1 after van Persie came on as a substitute and scored a brace to win the game. Stoke's Peter Crouch cancelled Gervinho's opener in the first half.

Probable starting line-up

Stoke: Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Whitehead, Palacios, Pennant, Etherington, Walters, Crouch

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Song, Ramsey, Rosicky, Benayoun, Oxlade-Chamberlain, van Persie

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