Stoke City v Arsenal: Premier League Match Preview
Stoke City host Arsenal in the Premier League at the bet365 Stadium this afternoon (5.30pm kick off UK time).
The Potters kicked off their Premier League campaign last Saturday with a 1-0 loss against Everton at Goodison Park.
Wayne Rooney scoring the only goal on his return to Everton from Manchester United.
Mark Hughes will hope that the loan signing of Jese this week from Paris Saint-Germain will help to galvanise his side.
The Potters lacked creativity and goals last season. They scored just 41 goals in the 2016/17 season.
Stoke City could lose their opening two Premier League games for the first time since 2010.
The Potters were winless in their first seven-league games last season, and their first six in 2015-16.
They failed to beat any of the top-six sides last season, earning just three points out of a possible 36.
The Gunners won the opening fixture of the Premier League against Leicester City.
Goals from Alexandre Lacazette on his Premier League debut, Danny Welbeck and substitutes Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud giving Arsenal the three points.
The Foxes goals were scored by Shinji Okazaki and Jamie Vardy (2).
Arsenal are aiming to win their opening two matches of a Premier League season for the first time since 2009/10.
The Gunners could win seven consecutive league fixtures for the first time since an eight-match streak from February to April 2015.
They are unbeaten in their opening away fixture in each of the last eight seasons (W3, D5).
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last five Premier League meetings with Stoke City(W4, D1), conceding just two goals in the process
Stoke City though have lost only one of their last seven home matches against Arsenal (W3 D3 L1).
That though was the last meeting between the teams at the bet365 stadium on the 13th May 2017.
Arsenal winning 4-1 with goals from Olivier Giroud (2), Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Peter Crouch scored for the Potters.
The Gunners could win successive top-flight games at Stoke for the first time since 1969.
Peter Crouch, who has netted more Premier League goals against Arsenal than he has any other side (9). He has scored in his last two appearances against the Gunners at the bet365 Stadium.
After scoring against Leicester City, Alexandre Lacazette could become the first Arsenal player to score in both of his opening two Premier League appearances for the club.
Both managers drew on the last meeting between the sides at the bet365 Stadium in May in their pre-match comments. Arsenal won that encounter 4-1.
Last time we had a game-plan, and an opportunity to really get at Arsenal, but we weren’t able to execute that plan for whatever reason.
“It was at the end of the season, whereas tomorrow is our first game back at home, we have new players in the group and the supporters will be really fired up for it too.
“The lads trained on the pitch yesterday, and it was absolutely fantastic, it feels like a new stadium so we are looking forward to tomorrow.”
He added: “We will certainly look to be positive, and we will look to get up and at them from the get-go!”
“We were well-organised, efficient and under pressure to win the game (in May).
“We had a convincing win there and that should inspire us. 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.
“I don’t believe in bogey teams too much. What is important is the performance on the day. We had a good performance last season and we have to focus on that, just to deal with the same performance.
“Stoke have a good record at home against many teams and I’m convinced that if we play our game, we have a good chance of winning.”
Striker Julien Ngoy has a thigh injury and could be out for 5-6 weeks.
Per Mertesacker will return to the squad after missing the opening fixture against Leicester City because of the cut to his forehead sustained in the Community Shield match with Chelsea at Wembley.
Shkodran Mustafi and Francis Coquelin will also be available.
Laurent Koscielny serves the final match of the three game suspension he picked up for being sent off in the final Premier League match of last season against Everton.
Alexis Sanchez will once again be missing with an abdominal strain sustained in training two weeks ago.
Jack Wilshere is set for another run out on Monday for the Arsenal Under 23s against Manchester City Under 23s, as he looks to prove his match fitness for a first team return.
Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistants: S Beck, S Ledger
Fourth official: R Madley
Arsenal to win 3-1.