Friday, 1 February 2013

Stoke City (H)

So a point against the scousers, an injury to Gibbs and a left back from Malaga. That pretty much sums up our week. Our defensive frailties once again cost us 3 points with both of Liverpools goals resulting from shambolic defending. That said we again showed fight to pull 2 back and Giroud had a golden chance to secure the points with minutes to go. Now don't get me wrong, he definitely should have scored, like he definitely should have scored against Chelsea, but he's netted 14 times for us this season and you really can't sniff at that.

For a long, long time it looked as if we weren't going to make a signing and then when it finally came, it was somewhat underwhelming. Despite Gibbs' injury I wouldn't have had a left back at the top of the list of urgent signings, but at least it shows intent to bolster the defence. Nacho Monreal is a Spanish international and now former Malaga player, I must admit I know very little about him but he comes highly rated by those in Spain and I hear he's fast, technical but also aggressive. Time will tell how good a signing he will turn out to be.

So ahead of our highly anticipated Rugby League match against Stoke tomorrow, news from the Emirates seems to be that Vermaelen is a doubt although we see the return of Arteta. Obviously we're without Gibbs so I think the team will look something like: SZCZ, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Wilshere, Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud. 

Now Stoke only have one away win all season, so lets hope this stat continues. They also have an away goal difference of -8. Defensively they haven't been all at it this season. So obviously the main dangers are Crouch, Walters and Jones should he play. In the middle of the park they also have N'Zonzi who is unpredictable if anything.

This fixture now has a history of being a bit fiery so I expect a good atmosphere tomorrow and hopefully 3 points. COYG!

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Stoke City