The yearly grudge matches against Stoke City always stir up the emotions in Arsenal fans and players alike, especially the ones that were around five years ago to see that horrific tackle on Aaron Ramsey, but the simple fact is that this is the fifth Premier League game of the new season and Arsenal have to put sentiment aside and go out and get the three points.
The bookies have Arsenal hot favourites to win at home as always, and this week’s prices come from the American bookie VitalBet who are interestingly the Official Sportsbook of Manny Pacquiao! An Arsenal home win is currently priced at 1.28. The Draw is 5.99 and the Stoke win is 11.92.
Obviously odds like that do no make the home win very attractive to small-stake punters like me so I am looking for much better value. So far this season, all games for both sides have been very tight, with Stoke drawing twice and losing by one goal twice, whereas Arsenal have drawn one, won two games by one goal and famously lost their opening game against West Ham.
But it has been noted that Arsenal have created more chances than any other Premiership team this season and it is only a matter of time until these chances start to be converted into goals and, on the law of averages, someone is going to get hammered very soon, and why not Stoke. Arsenal have won every single game against the visitors at home since 1981, and in the last ten wins, seven of them have been by two goals or more. The Potters have given no reason for us to think that is likely to change today.
Stoke are ripe for the picking. Their hated captain Ryan Shawcross is out injured, along with Glen Johnson, Mame Diouf and Marko Arnautovic. Plus Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam got sent off last week and are suspended. On the other hand, Arsenal will see the return of their top centre-back pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
I think this is the game that will put Arsenal’s season back on track so I am going to recommend you go over to VitalBet and bet on Arsenal at -1.5 goals on the Asian Handicap at a very reasonable 1.86.
Get on it. Loads of goals today!