Match Preview: Stoke City v Arsenal

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

Subs from: Fabianski, Denilson, Djourou, Nasri, Ramsey, Bendtner, Vela

Stoke City Likely Line Up (4-4-2)

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

Team Stoke City Arsenal
Games Played 10 10
Goal Attempts
Goals 11 22
Ave Goals per game 1.10 2.20
Shots (excl blocked shots) 70 162
% Shots on Target 40% 43%
% Goals to Shots 16% 14%
Short Passes 1,917 4,642
Long Passes 568 596
Overall Pass Completion % 66% 85%
Total Crosses 193 301
Cross Completion % 20% 22%
Goals Conceded 18 10
Ave goals conceded per game 1.80 1.00
Tackles 170 199
Tackles Won % 75% 76%
Blocks, Clearances & Interceptions 573 504
Fouls 143 101
Yellow Cards 18 18
Red Cards 1 0

One thought on “Match Preview: Stoke City v Arsenal

  1. Fabianski should defo be a starter against Stoke. The Goalkeeping coach once said that Fab was one of the best he has seen when coming for crosses and commanding his penalty area, so Lukasz is a must, especially given Almunias record as of late.

    JD has to start too, with Gallas being out and me not liking Song or Silvestre at CB. Stoke probably wont pose many problems from open play with the majority of their attaching threat coming from set-pieces so height is also vital. But whether or not AW realises this is doubtful. Ade was useless so my team is :

    Sagna – Kolo – JD – Clichy
    Theo – Diaby – Cesc – Nasri
    RvP – Nik

    Subs : Almunia, Silvestre, Eboue, Song, Ramsey*, Ade, Vela*

    *height is a must in defence but in attack smaller, quick players like Vela and Ramsey could prove useful.

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