Stoke vs Arsenal preview, betting tips and predictions: The Gunners to deal with Stoke’s physicality and claim the winPublished August 17, 2017
Arsenal to win with BTTS @ 5/2 with Betfair
Arsenal to win both halves @ 15/8 with Betfair
Score draw @ 7/2 with Betfair
Stoke has never really been a happy hunting ground for Arsenal, despite a number of wins over the years, including last season. Mark Hughes has tried to change the ideology of the Potters since taking over in 2013, but there is still quite a resemblance to the teams Tony Pulis produced before him. That will worry Arsene Wenger, who has been criticised for not preparing his teams for rigorous away games such as this in the past.
Funnily enough, Stoke have made a signing more befitting of Arsenal in terms of style this week, bringing in Jese Rodriguez on loan from Paris Saint-Germain.The former Real Madrid man has pace to burn and can play either up front or out wide, and will definitely help Stoke either play direct with long balls he can chase or on the counter attack. With Saido Berahino another option, it looks as though Hughes will aim to hit Arsenal at the heart of their frail defence, although Shkodran Mustafi may well be fit, with the pace of that duo.
Wenger will be hoping his side are tighter at the back than against Leicester, when the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez caused the very same issues on the opening night at the Emirates Stadium. The returning Francis Coquelin will offer some much needed protection in midfield, allowing the likes of Aaron Ramsey to break forward. As part of the three in defence system Wenger will likely employ again, Sead Kolasinac will thrive in stretching the pitch down the left hand side, something Stoke will not want to happen.
Wenger on this man:— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 16, 2017
?? "Look at his numbers... the weight he has in the dressing room... he’s respected by everybody inside the club" pic.twitter.com/7xK37fBJRF
The shaky defence and possible impact of Jese make Stoke scoring a likely scenario, and they may well be confident of getting something from the game. But Arsenal have become much better at game management overall in recent years, and if they can control proceedings and get record signing Alexandre Lacazette involved as much as possible, they should have too much for their hosts. The best betting tip of the three provided is an Arsenal victory in both halves, because they will want to start quickly, just as they did last Friday against Leicester.
Key battle: Geoff Cameron vs Sead Kolasinac
Although Alexis Sanchez is out injured right now, Arsenal will likely have two creative players looking to get as close to Lacazette as often as they can, meaning they will be narrow in offensive situations. Kolasinac is the ideal player for the new 3-4-3 system and he will likely get a good run at Geoff Cameron, who may be physically imposing but does not have the pace and positional sense to deal with the Arsenal new boy.
The more he attacks, the more of an overload Arsenal will have, giving Ramsey, Mesut Özil if he plays and Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain the opportunity to go beyomd Darren Fletcher in the Stoke midfield and put pressure on Jack Butland in the Stoke net. He could well be the key to a Gunners domination.