Arsenal – Stoke City: Team News, Line Up And Thoughts

Stoke-On-Trent is picturesque this time of year.

Morning, folks.

As as blogger who doesn’t blog particularly often at present, I thought it was an opportune moment to correct that. Whilst December brings with it severe challenges and lengthy hours for those of us who earn a crust in the catering industry, it doesn’t make for a legitimate excuse. Truth is, I’ve just not felt like writing for a long time.

The reason? Hard to say – I feel it’s a combination of pure indolence and a feeling of bewilderment at how online activities have become a haven for self-promotion, bickering and the relentless spewing of dross. That’s not to say I see myself as some sort of saint amongst sinners – I’m certainly not – merely a case of becoming a little tired of it all.

But I do love this blog. I genuinely do. As I believe all writing should, it’s an extension of myself and combines faults and flaws alongside virtues in equal measure. It is me, and I’m going to extract my finger from my arse and start doing it again.

So, today we head off to the murky underworld of Stoke, a trip fraught with perils and enveloped in darkness and evil. There is no love lost between the two teams since one of their barely-literate cretins saw fit to blunder oafishly into a young man’s leg in the centre circle. They hate us because one of our players had the audacity to suffer a career-threatening injury on their turf. We hate them because they truly are an insufferable bunch of c*nts.

Since the hideous Tony Pulis departed, Stoke have adopted an approach that resembles football. Gone are the long throws and meat-headed challenges and a progressive approach now features more often. However, it’s the physicality I expect them to utilise more of today. Arsenal don’t like it up ’em.

Defensively, we’ll need to be strong and, as you might expect, the team news sees us facing yet another headache in that department. Laurent Koscielny will have a tendon issue assessed before kick-off and Nacho Monreal, who deserves credit for his performances in an unfamiliar area of the pitch, will sit this one out due to an ankle problem.

That could see us lining up with the inexperienced Hector Bellerin at right-back and Chambers alongside Mertesacker centrally. The rest of the team shouldn’t deviate that much from the midweek win over Southampton, but I do think we’ll see Olivier Giroud start from the bench as he finds his way back to match fitness.

So my soothsayer prediction for the team is:

I wouldn’t pay too much attention to that as I quite regularly get it wrong. But, hey – the fun is in the trying, isn’t it…

Stoke have lost the past 3 league games and looked fairly pitiful doing so. But they’ll be up for this one and the grubby reprobates inhabiting their stands will vociferously buoy them on. For reasons I’ve never been able to fathom, this fixture means a great deal to them – they simply must beat the team that fields the evil Aaron Ramsey…

Should we continue our good turn of form and stamp our authority on the game from the onset, I would imagine we’ll win at a canter. Offensively we are far superior. The battle for control will be fought in the midfield areas and Stoke’s lumbering powerhouses are certain to look to hassle and unsettle the diminutive, scampering wizards that glide about our middle of the park.

Prediction time – I feel more optimistic than usual today, so I shall lay my neck on the line and confidently bleat that Arsenal will win this one, and do so comfortably. It’s always been a tough fixture, but my positivity levels are such than I shall declare a 3-0 triumph is on the cards. Again – I’d not pay that any attention as I am rarely correct. Don’t hold it against me… I don’t wish to see any comments saying thing like this, as has happened previously:

James, you said Arsenal would win and they did not. What the f*ck is wrong with you, you magnificent c*nt.

That hurts my feeling. I am quite a fragile, sensitive character once you get past the layers of stupidity and tomfoolery, so bare that in mind. Too much ‘banter’ and I might turn into Jokman, and nobody wants another one of those scurrying about looking for deep-fried food.

So, on that note I shall leave you. The comments section is hot for you below and I await thoughts on the team, the match, the result and whatever else you might feel like sharing.

I’ll be back soon. As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

1 Comment

  1. cristianth

    3 – 0 all right…

    Reply

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