Stoke City v Arsenal
English Premier League
Britannia Stadium – Stoke-on-Trent, England
27 February 2010 – 15:00 GMT
Third place Arsenal can move within two points of second place with a win against Stoke City in the EPL on Saturday. Stoke City are safe from relegation but want to finish the season on a high note.
Stoke City v Arsenal Preview
The Gunners are five points back of Manchester Untied and six behind first place Chelsea. A win would close the gap on Man United to two points and possibly within three points of Chelsea. There are several injury concerns for Arsenal as Robin Van Persie, Andrey Arshavin, Abou Diaby, and William Gallas will all be unavailable for the trip to Stoke.
Stoke is 11 points above the relegation zone and not in any danger with only a few months left in the season. They’ve been comfortable in the middle of the table for virtually the whole season but are too far back to challenge to a top five finish. Their home form has been decent with a 6-4-3 record and +5 goal difference. In their last seven EPL matches, City is undefeated with a 3-4-0 record.
Arsenal is 4-1-2 in their last seven Premier League fixtures. The Gunners have done well against the weaker sides but lost against the other top four clubs. They will need to get at least a draw if not a win to keep their EPL title hopes alive. Cesc Fabregas leads the Gunners with 12 goals in the Premier League and summer signing Thomas Varmaelen has six goals. Stoke has a very balanced attack four players with three goals and five players with two goals.
Stoke are a disciplined team that will force Arsenal to play a good match to get three points. Tony Pulis doesn’t have the money or talent of Arsenal but has been able to build a consistent and successful club. Arsenal have the better roster but with football that doesn’t always translate into wins.
Stoke City v Arsenal Prediction
Stoke are a solid team and will be facing an Arsenal side without a few key players (most noticably Arshavin). It will be a close match that ends in a 1-1 draw.
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