While Arsenal should be feeling confident about today’s game in the Premier League, with the visitors Stoke City enduring a wretched record against us in London, Arsene Wenger and the players should also be aware that Mark Hughes will be bringing a confident and in form team to the Emirates today.
The Potters have lost just one of their last none EPL matches and have won the last two without conceding a goal. That defensive strength and their speed and threat on the break is sure to shape their tactics today, so I expect Mark Hughes to set them up as a solid unit that will hope to hurt us on the counter attack and they will be greatly helped in that by the return of Marko Arnautovic.
But Arsenal will have our own boost and it could be even more key to the result, as long as Hector Bellerin passes the late fitness test that Sky Sports report he is to have ahead of this game. The Spanish right back has been sorely missed and although Gabriel has done pretty well on the defensive side of things he does not have the same cut and thrust as young Hector.
Bellerin’s pace could be a massive factor against their counter attacking as well, especially as he will be up against the pacy Arnautovic, and I think that he also helps to get the best from Theo Walcott down the right flank, so fingers crossed that he can play and will that ensure that the points are ours?