Date: 13th May 2017 at 12:13pm

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could miss Saturday’s trip to the Britannia.

The midfielder who limped off with a hamstring problem in Wednesday’s  victory over Southampton is expected to be fit for the FA Cup final in two weeks.

Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny missed the mid-week win with a calf injury – the Frenchman will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s game.

As for the hosts, Mark Hughes has no new injury concerns. Striker Saido Berahino could return to the starting line-up after being an unused substitute in his return from illness last time out.

Alexis Sanchez netted his 20th league goal of the season in mid-week. The talisman is just four short of Premier League top scorer Romelu Lukaku.

Another win would see Arsene Wenger’s side move within a point of Liverpool who travel to West Ham on Sunday.


Arsenal made it five wins in six with the 3-4-3 formation thanks to the 2-0 triumph on the south-coast. Despite allowing the opposition more possession, the wins are coming thick and fast and at this stage of the season nothing else matters.

The Gunners have been accused of going backwards this term, yet the tally of 66 points after 35 matches is two points better than at this stage of last season, when they finished second.

Stoke’s form meanwhile has taken a turn for the worse – The Potters have won just one of their last nine matches (D3, L5).

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Alex Iwobi celebrates as he seals a 3-1 win over Stoke in December.


It’s turned into an acrimonious rivalry ever since the so prominent clash of styles came head-t0-head in 2008.

After Ryan Shawcross broke Aaron Ramsey’s leg the rivalry intensified. Arsenal have a formidable record at home, but have not beaten Stoke away in six games (D3, L3)

Arsene Wenger’s side came from behind to beat the Pottters 3-1 in the corresponding fixture in December.


Once again Rob Holding registered an impressive display in the victory over Southampton. The youngster appears to be an assured, calming influence at the back and his low transfer fee of £2m has prevented a media frenzy so far.

Arsene Wenger has a decision to make over the three centre-backs with Koscielny likely to be fit. Monreal is surprisingly strong which means Mustafi just misses out.

With Oxlade-Chamberlain a doubt, Hector Bellerin is expected to replace the Englishman at wing-back.

Olivier Giroud stepped off the bench to net his 10th league goal of the campaign. However, there’s still no place for the Frenchman in the starting line-up with Welbeck playing well.

Arsenal XI: Cech; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Holding, Koscielny, Monreal, Gibbs; Ramsey, Xhaka; Ozil, Alexis, Welbeck.


We need to win this. It’s critical the Gunners apply pressure on Liverpool ahead of their trip to the London Stadium on Sunday.

Stoke are not the side of previous campaigns and are in a poor run of form. Despite this, Arsenal at home is always their cup final and they and their fans will be rearing to go from the first whistle.

If we can get on the front foot early it will set us up for the rest of the game.

Prediction: 0-1 Arsenal


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