Stoke City vs Arsenal Preview: Potters looking to pick up first points of the season

Stoke City will be hoping to get their first points on the board this season as they host Arsenal at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

Stoke started their 2017/18 season with defeat to Everton at Goodison Park, thanks to a Wayne Rooney winning goal.

Arsenal opened the season with a thrilling 4-3 win over Leicester City.

Team news

Julian N’Goy will join Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay on the treatment table, as manager Mark Hughes confirmed the youngster picked up a thigh strain and could be out for five to six weeks.

Ireland and Afellay are long-term absentees but Hughes said his team are “OK in terms of injuries.”

Alexis Sanchez will not be fit to face Stoke, but Arsene Wenger said that “he should be available for the next game against Liverpool.”

Per Mertesacker, Shkodran Mustafi and Francis Coquelin return to the squad while Santi Cazorla remains out and Laurent Koscielny will miss the game serving the final match of his suspension. 

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What have the managers said?

Hughes stated that he hopes to involve all of his summer signings on Saturday, and that “some will start and others will be on the bench.”

Stoke have made six summer recruits, the latest two being Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting on a free transfer and loaning in Jese Rodriguez from Paris Saint-Germain for the season.

Arsenal’s last visit to Stoke saw them walk away with a 4-1 win. Wenger commented on their visit: “We were well-organised, efficient and under pressure to win the game, absolutely. We were on a strung run as well.

“We had a convincing win there and that should inspire us.” The Frenchman claimed. “It’s traditionally it’s always been a difficult place to go for everybody, but of course we continue in a strong way our start to the season."

Past meetings

Stoke have picked up just one point from their last five games against Arsenal, but have lost just one of their last seven home games against the Gunners. They have picked up three wins and three draws in that spell.

Last season’s 4-1 win for Arsenal was a ruthless performance by the away side, as Mesut Ozil and Sanchez scored in between a brace by Olivier Giroud as Peter Crouch scored with his hand for Stoke.

The game kicks off at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday at 17:30.