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Alexis Sanchez
Arsene Wenger is confident Alexis Sanchez will have a better season than last year after allaying fears of a burnout. Getty

Arsenal host Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, September 12, as the Gunners look to get their season back on track with a first home win at the Emirates. The Gunners have failed to score at home in their opening two games, while losing one and drawing the other against Liverpool.

Where to Watch

Kick-off is set for 3pm BST. Highlights of the game will be available on BBC Match of the Day at 10:50pm BST on BBC One.


Arsenal have started the season with a whimper, scoring only three goals thus far, with two coming in the form of own goals. Olivier Giroud's goal against Crystal Palace is the only one that has been attributed to a player until now and Arsene Wenger will be desperate for his team to start firing on all cylinders after the international break.

The Gunners find themselves five points behind league leaders Manchester City, who have started the season on a song. This is a must win game for Wenger's men as they face Chelsea next week at Stamford Bridge where they have not had an inspiring record in recent years.

Laurent Koscielny, who was reported to have picked up an injury during international duty, is expected to be back while Per Mertesacker will also be available for selection in the first team after recovering from illness. Jack Wilshere's recovery has suffered a setback while Danny Welbeck is out for at least four months with a knee operation.

Stoke are yet to win a single game so far in the league and have made a woeful start to their campaign. Their last game against West Bromwich Albion saw two red cards being given to Ibrahim Affelay and Charlie Adam for dangerous play; both are ruled out of the fixture.

They are currently 18th in the table with only two points on board and need a performance of epic proportions. Mark Hughes will be taking confidence from their 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur and their record from last season when they won only one of their first five games but went on to finish the season with record points.

What Managers Say

Arsene Wenger: "Stoke are team with a good culture of the Premier League, they know how to behave and they have experience. They have been here a long time in the Premier League and they have improved their technical quality. They have Afellay, Bojan, Shaqiri, Diouf up front and Charlie Adam in midfield. They have a lot of technical players that can give you problems. What we want is to focus on our own performance as we want to take off at home now. We had two good away games with positive results in difficult places and we know at home we can be efficient against anybody."

Mark Hughes: "There's a strength in the Premier League that gives confidence to everybody. Maybe in the past teams would fear going to the Emirates or Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge. I know when I was a Man United player a lot of teams would turn up and you knew almost immediately they didn't believe they could win games there. I don't think that's the case any more. Most teams go with the intention of asking questions of the top teams and seeing how far it takes you. We're very much in that group of teams that feel we can go anywhere and give good accounts of ourselves."

Betting Odds

  • Arsenal win: 3/10
  • Draw: 24/5
  • Stoke City Win: 11/1

Team News


Possible XI: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Gabriel, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud

Stoke City

Possible XI: Butland, Johnson, Cameron, Muniesa, Pieters, Ginkel, Whelan, Walters, Shaqiri, Arnautovic, Diouf

Butland, Johnson, Cameron, Muniesa, Pieters, Ginkel, Whelan, Walters, Shaqiri, Arnautovic, Diouf