Stoke City v Arsenal Predictions, Betting Tips & Previews
May 09, 2017
Saturday 13 May – Britannia Stadium – Premier League
After beating Manchester United last week, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal can close in on the Champions League and silence critics with a win against Stoke City. The Potters have a strong home record against the top six, so expect a close one.
The Gunners have only conceded one goal to Stoke in their past four meetings, scoring seven in the process. The first edition of this fixture this season ended in a 3-1 Arsenal win, but they were held to a 0-0 draw here last season.
Only long term absentees Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay so Mark Hughes won’t have to make any alterations to his usual starting XI. Losing Bojan to Mainz has hurt the Potters’ creativity and it seems Gianelli Imbula is also looking to trade up, so these may be the last few games the Stoke faithful can enjoy the Frenchman.
Arsene Wenger will be without Santi Cazorla and Lucas Perez, while Granit Xhaka is a doubt after picking up an ankle injury. The Arsenal squad seem to be getting used to the switch to 3-4-2-1, so expect the new shape to stay.
Stoke vs Arsenal Preview and Predictions
The ‘cold, wet night at Stoke’ theory has been all but debunked, but Potters still have an unmatched ability to scrape a point from a substandard performance, while Arsenal’s tendency to bottle positions of strength means Saturday’s meeting is a little more unpredictable than originally thought. Mark Hughes’ men are 19/4 underdogs, showing that a win is unlikely. A draw is at 17/5, which is a more likely outcome.
Arsenal are favourites at 8/13, and as their poorest patch of form seems to be over, the London side have every chance of closing the gap on Liverpool on Saturday. The win against Manchester United last week expelled the hold Jose Mourinho held on the Gunners, so there is every possibility their poor record away to Stoke could end this week.
Alexis Sanchez is favourite to open the scoring at odds of 7/2, although firing his side back into the top four is more likely to be a parting gift than the building of a new foundation.
Arsenal to win 2-1 at 8/1
The Gunners still have problems at the back, but Stoke haven’t been as negative this year so there is space at the back to exploit. Arsenal should find the net at least twice, but keeping a clean sheet is unlikely.
Danny Welbeck to score anytime at 11/8
The England international made a scoring return last week, which raises questions over his ‘joke player’ status. Welbeck can be effective if used correctly, and as he is finally getting the hang of leading Arsenal’s line, he should find the net again on Saturday.