Venue: Britannia Stadium Date: Saturday, 1 November Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Arsenal Likely Line Up (4-4-2)
Sagna – Toure(c) – Silvestre – Clichy
Walcott – Fabregas – Song – Diaby
Van Persie – Adebayor
Subs from: Fabianski, Denilson, Djourou, Nasri, Ramsey, Bendtner, Vela
Stoke City Likely Line Up (4-4-2)
Griffin – Faye – Shawcross(c) – Higginbotham
Soares – Olofinjana – Diao- Delap
Sidibe – Fuller
Subs from: Simonsen, Pericard, Wilkinson, Tonge, Kitson, Amdy Faye, Sonko
(Likely line ups subject to change before the match).
Form Guide: Arsenal (3rd) W6 D2 L2 Stoke City (15th): W3 D1L6
Tactical View: We all know of Stoke’s tactic of deploying the long throw at every opportunity possible. There are a few reasons they are successful, not just the accuracy and speed of Delap’s throws or the height of the players.
The ball is usually thrown in at the akward angle to the far post where the players can run across causing havoc and positioned to deny the keeper space to get to the ball. This is no doubt helped by the fact that there can be no offsides pushing the defense back. Finally the deploying of a long throw can disrupt the flow of the game and affect the players mentality as they wait for the throw. Arsenal can use this to their advantage if they get to the ball first and counter Stoke as the defenders are likely to be forward.
Dealing with the high balls will be one of Wenger’s main priorities hence the starting line up. Stoke can pass the ball but against Arsenal they should be technically outclassed. If Arsenal can convert their likely high possession to goals expect a win.
Key Battles: Rory Delap v Arsenal Defense: Arsenal have to make sure they are not mentally obsessed with the threat but still must make sure they are organised at the back. Almunia will want to cathch as much as possible while getting first to knock downs and flick-ons will be key.
Abdoulaye Faye v Emmanuel Adebayor: The Togolese striker wasn’t in the best of form against Tottenham but scored a goal and set up another underlying his threat. Faye is a capable defender but Adebayor’s superior ability on the floor should be too much.
Prediction: Stoke City 1-3 Arsenal
|Ave Goals per game||1.10||2.20|
|Shots (excl blocked shots)||70||162|
|% Shots on Target||40%||43%|
|% Goals to Shots||16%||14%|
|Overall Pass Completion %||66%||85%|
|Cross Completion %||20%||22%|
|Ave goals conceded per game||1.80||1.00|
|Tackles Won %||75%||76%|
|Blocks, Clearances & Interceptions||573||504|