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Arsene Wenger

Arsenal travel to Stoke City on Saturday as the Gunners look to take a five-point lead over Manchester City, who are playing in the final of the Capital One Cup against Sunderland on Sunday.

Where to Watch live

Kick-off is set for 3 pm GMT. Highlights of the game will be available on BBC Match of the Day on BBC One from 10:30 pm GMT.


Stoke City are on a three-game winless run but have been a force to reckon with at home, taking 21 of their 27 points at the Britannia, with a win against Chelsea a notable achievement for Mark Hughes's side.

This is Stoke's chance to put further distance between themselves and Sunderland, who are playing in the League Cup. The home side boast a formidable record against the Gunners, taking points off them in their last two meetings in this location.

Their last game in the league ended in a 1-0 loss to Manchester City where they held on for a long time but succumbed to a Yaya Toure goal late in the second half. A positive result here will give them some much needed confidence in their quest to beat the drop and keep their challenge alive in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are set to welcome back Mesut Ozil into the squad, who was left out of their game against Sunderland due to a thigh injury. The German has not been in great form in recent weeks and was heavily criticised after missing a penalty against Bayern Munich. Arsene Wenger will be hoping that his worst days are behind him and the £42.5m player can finally assist Arsenal in their erratic race for the title.

The Gunners will be buoyed after their 4-1 win over Sunderland last week where they completely dominated the Black Cats, putting three past them in the first half. Olivier Giroud, who was struggling for form, got a brace, which should give him confidence going into a tough phase.

What the Managers Say

Arsene Wenger: "Ozil had a difficult game because he missed that penalty. It was on his mind and, when you are under this kind of pressure, it's good to refresh. We have played since the beginning of December -- I do not have to justify here why [the players] had two days off. It's unbelievable. We are in a society where everyone wants to control everything. I don't understand this question at all. We are entitled to have days off."

Mark Hughes: "It has been surprising I think. It would be fair to say I didn't expect them to maintain it. They have always been an outstanding team and they have great ability within their ranks, but I just felt maybe they wouldn't have the ability to sustain a challenge. I think there are possibly stronger challengers, stronger teams that could take it away from them."

Stoke City v Man City
Manchester City's Yaya Toure (R) challenges Stoke City's Glenn Whelan at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, 22 February 2014 Reuters/Nigel Roddis

Form Guide

Stoke City

  • Last Five(all competitions, most recent first): L D D W L
  • Last Result: Manchester City 1-0 Stoke City


  • Last Five(all competitions, most recent first): W L W D L
  • Last Result: Arsenal 4-1 Sunderland

Team News

Stoke City

  • Injured: Robert Huth (match fitness), Oussama Assaidi (knee).
  • Doubtful: Peter Odemwingie (calf), Jonathan Walters (illness).
  • Suspended: N/A

Probably Line-Up: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Odemwingie, Whelan, Adam, Arnautovic; Walters; Crouch.


  • Injured: Theo Walcott(knee), Abou Diaby(knee), Nacho Monreal(ankle),Aaron Ramsey(thigh)
  • Doubtful: Kieran Gibbs(gluteus)
  • Suspended: N/A

Probable Line-Up: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen; Arteta, Wilshere; Cazorla, Rosicky, Podolski; Giroud.