Arsenal v Stoke City – FIVE players that can change the game


It’s Arsenal vs Stoke City at the Emirates this afternoon as Arsenal seek to build on their decent run of games in the Premier League. The Gunners are in fine form at the moment scoring 9 goals in two games (against West Ham {1-5} and FC Basel {1-4}) and conceding just two in the process. The Gunners are definitely favourites going into the fixture with regards to their current form and pedigree as well in the European game.

Stoke are also feeling confident right now and will have a plan of their own going into the Arsenal fixture. The players of both will seek to enforce their authority in the game in line with the team’s tactics. We take a look at these players who will want to make their contribution evident in the game. We evaluate five players who can change the outcome of the Arsenal v Stoke City…..


Xhaka justarsenalThe Swiss international who had to adapt to the Premier League is one player who have the ability to influence the course of the game against the Potters. Xhaka have won his place as a product of hard work as he is set to be deployed at the base of the midfield possibly alongside Francis Coquelin. The Swiss player has made a bright start to his Arsenal career with some decent performances so far. In the Basel game the diagonal combination along with Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal the leverage to get the ball in the final third with aplomb. Xhaka’s highpoint was when he hit a superb strike from range in the 1-4 win against Hull City. It was a goal that defines the players ability to come on board and deliver a soccer punch to the opposing goal and Arsenal will be counting on him when Stoke City come calling.


The Swiss International winger is one player that can cause serious havoc at the Emirates. The quality talent who moved from German powerhouse Bayern Munich to the Premier League in search of first team football is one Stoke player that can haunt Arsenal title hope with a touch of brilliance.
He has single handedly decided the outcome of some games in the League this season and still has the ammunition to do some damage against Arsenal. The gifted talent, whose skill and movement on the ball is trouble for opposing defenders, will have Arsenal’s back four to contend with when the game gets underway. Shaqiri’s trickery and long range (left footed) strike is one force the Stoke side will be building on in the game and Arsenal must watch him carefully if they are to come away with the three points.


The Spanish forward will be very helpful for Arsenal going into the game against Stoke City. Alexis has been deployed as the center forward for much of the season following the unavailability of the two confirmed strikers (Giroud and Perez) but with the forward back in the mix and gunning for goals he might likely retain his place in the starting line-up, fresh from a midweek hat-trick against Basel. It is expected that Wenger will want to build on the striker’s confidence in front of goal to nail the visitors. With his scoring instinct and good positioning in the box Stoke City are in for a big task in a bid to keep the hat-trick hero at bay in the course of the game. With the level of creativity at his disposal is hard to see Stoke City containing the Spaniard in the course of the game.


The Stoke City talisman will be a huge danger man against Arsenal with his all-round effect in the game. His physicality and aerial strength will come into play as the Stoke side attempt to cause one of the Premier League upsets this weekend as Arsenal are in imperious form at the moment. The Austrian forward will be a big problem for Arsenal’s defence which will be tested with the rigour of the talented forward. Arnautovic’s movement and attacking style has the ability to unsettle any defence, coupled with his lethal partnership along with Bojan Krkić in alignment with Shaqiri, which have produced goals for Stoke City in the current campaign.


The forward was hauled off 13th minutes after Arsenal’s (Iwobi) goal to make it 0-4 for Arsenal in midweek against Basel to signal his importance in the game and where Arsenal’s focus lies with Stoke’s visit in mind. The Chilean superstar will be key to stretching the Potter’s defence as the Stoke City side are known for their strong defensive formation with plenty of men behind the ball. Sanchez’s quality on the ball will be instrumental to Arsenal’s quest for three points against Stoke City as his potential to win matches is not in doubt, as was evident against West Ham following a well-deserved hat-trick.

Who do you think will be the big game-changer today?

Obiweluozo Martins


  1. G-Rude says:

    Hmmm I really hope that Perez starts today to help him increase his confidence after his midweek hat-trick, but then again maybe he should be saved for Tuesday..

  2. Admin says:

    ADMIN INFO – My server host was down for 14 hours until couple of hours ago, so I’m afraid we had to miss out on a few posts.
    One of those was the result of our poll on which should be our three front men in today’s game, and over 1000 readers voted. Alexis was obviously the first choice with 90% of the votes (933). Surprisingly Lucas Perez came in second with 59% (633) and The Ox was the third choice with 53%, while Walcott was 4th best with 43%.
    Giroud narrowly got more votes than Iwobi who was in last place….

  3. chinaka1 says:

    The front-three should be Ox…Alexis…Lucaz.

    Iwobi and Giroud to be introduced later in the game and possibly Walcott also.

  4. Ugabooga says:

    Gabriel Mustafi Kos Monreal
    ———–Coq Xakha ————
    ———Ox Ozil Perez ———
    ————-sanchez ———–

    Bellerin, OG, Walcott, Ramsey, elneny and whom ever else should be enough fire power

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