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Arsenal’s new boys can help fans forget RVP and Song against Stoke

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The first Sky televised game on Sunday sees Stoke take on Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium, and the visitors look bankers at 2.1  with bet365 and Paddy Power to come away with all three points.
The Gunners were not at their best on the opening day when sharing the spoils with Sunderland in a 0-0 draw at Emirates Stadium, but it was a performance they are sure to build on in the coming weeks.
As far as the stats are concerned, there is nothing to choose between the two sides in this fixture over the past four seasons.
However Stoke have won just one of their last 10 matches in the Premier League last season (drawing 6) and still seemed to lack a cutting edge when drawing 1-1 at Reading last weekend.
They simply don’t have the players to trouble an on-song Arsenal who have conceded a goal in only a quarter of their last 20 away matches and average just under 2 goals a game on their travels.
What is important is that Arsenal get off to a good start.
New signing Olivier Giroud missed a golden opportunity to make a dream start for the Gunners when coming off the bench against Sunderland last weekend but has proved at the highest level that he has got what it takes.
He is a 7 chance with Boylesports and Paddy Power to net the opener, and that looks good value.
Over 2.5 goals also looks worth a wager at 2.1 with Paddy Power as the last four clashes in the league between the pair have averaged 3.25 goals.

Talking Points

  • Stoke have scored first in all five home games they have played against Arsenal in all competitions under Tony Pulis, and on four occasions inside the first 11 minutes
  • Robin van Persie (30 goals, nine assists) and Alex Song (one goal, 11 assists) played a part in 47 of Arsenal’s 74 Premier League goals (64%) last season
  • Stoke are unbeaten in their past seven home games but have drawn all the last three
  • Santi Cazorla created more scoring chances (nine) than any other player in the first round of matches, although none of them were taken
  • In 2011-12 Stoke scored the highest percentage of goals from set-pieces (58 per cent) while Arsenal had the lowest ratio of goals from dead-ball situations (14 per cent)
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