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Arsenal vs. Stoke City

Ashburton Grove



Arsenal v. Stoke

After losing three domestic matches on the bounce, the positive vibes that were bountiful around the Grove have vanished. Arsenal host Stoke today, in a game that is now a must win.

Manchester City host Chelsea in the evening kickoff, and if Chelsea knock off the Citizens at Eastlands, then fair play to them. But if not, we could close the gap at the top, with a game in hand.

Vital Quotes:

Emmanuel Eboue has given an apology for the recent results: 'This week was very, very difficult for us because we lost two games, one against Chelsea and then Manchester City,' Eboue said. 'Now we try to forget those two games and try to win on Saturday against Stoke.

'Personally I just want to say sorry to the fans for both games. It wasn't easy for us but I promise we will give our best and show on Saturday that we can win because we know it will be good for the fans.

'They buy tickets to support us and then we don't win the games. We are sorry and we will try our best on Saturday.'

Arsenal Team News:

Well, surprise, surprise. Theo Walcott has suffered another injury. This time it's his hamstring. Surely this is what kept him from playing midweek. In other news, Sagna has an ankle problem, but he should be fine for today. Also, Song is suspended.

Predicted Starting XI: Fabianski, Sagna, Vermaelen, Gallas, Traore, Nasri, Fabregas, Denilson, Arshavin, Rosicky, Eduardo

Player to watch: Lukasz Fabianski

I'm interested to see who starts in goal. If it wasn't for an ill timed injury, I thought Fabianski would have already claimed the starting spot. After Almunia's horror show against Chelsea, I hope the Pole keeps his spot.

Stoke City Team News:

Amdy Faye is Pulis' only absentee due to injury, though Dean Whitehead will serve a one game suspension for yellow card accumulation.

Possible Starting XI: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Collins, Faye, Huth, Lawrence, Whelan, Diao, Etherington, Fuller, Beattie

Player to watch: James Beattie

Stoke hit the jackpot with Beattie. He scored in this fixture last season, however it was on his own goal. He'll be looking to make up for that.

Ref Watch

Mark Clattenburg will be the head official today.

Match Prediction:

I think we'll rebound from our poor run of form. If we can get an early goal, the flood gates might open just like last season.

Next Fixtures:

9/12 - Olympiakos (a) - Champions League

13/12 - Liverpool (a) - Premier League

16/12 Burnley (a) - Premier League

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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday December 5 2009

Time: 1:46AM

Your Comments

Pivitol 3 points...but I think we'll do it comfortably...
we need a good win to wipe away the horror of last week.
tough game!
Gooner SA
Get behind the boys is the time they need our support more than ever....we need to help pick them up
Don't know why, I'm nervous again. Well I guess I do know why.
aww for feck sake...
yay Arshavin should have replaced van Persie from day one.
I mean seriously, what ***** poor luck is that?
I want Eboue to score so much now!! :D
i hate not being able to watch matches. forces me to sit through match of the day.
Er but tom I thought you're an expert in the you-know-what source online.
They are banned at uni.
ITS LIKE CHINA! But nowhere near similar, if you get me.
so i guess handballs in the box are no longer penalties?
Argh, tell me about it - if you get me too! Somehow we're defending okay. Nasri has just taken a shot - pen claim there with the defender apparently raising his arm as the ball flies past him in the box. Half time now.
TP I was amazed too Nasri and AA weren't protesting too persistently. What a bunch of nice guys. lol
Rosicky injured?!?! :S
Back to his best ,AA
maybe, maybe not, lou
'boue injured :<
Sigh, Eboue's limping off. ARGHHHHH
I just hope we don't concede one of those silly late late goals to rue all these chances that we've failed to put away!
Nice goal from Ramsey
Thank God for that. Now to relax and enjoy the game.
Liverpool still 0-0
If you look to your right, you'll see Vital Arsenal finally has a new poll!
Yeah Tom Liverpool are the only thing that's reminding me that it could've been worse and we shouldn't take things for granted... :P
A little off topic, here. Man City V Chelsea: Adebayor has just scored and with his back to goal..... Ooops! Wrong goal.
Boy did we need that win, good to see some nice attacking play, though we should have won more comfortably. And guess which former greedy player just scored an OG verses the chavs LOL.
Dammit NG you beat me LOL!
dudu wasn't even in the bench! if only the chavs draw today
Gooner SA
Hahaha. Adebayor just made my day!
Now, the world class striker we sold to Man city goes and score. At the wrong end! Just when you need him to play well for a change.
....He scores another goal. This time, at the right end. To be fair, City reacted very strongly to going one goal down and put the Chelsea defence under intense pressure, it must be said. Turning out to be an interesting match. Bet Sir Alex is rooting for the Blue half of Manchester today.
As much as it pains me to say I hope for a man city win also.
Yeah! Points dropped for Chelsea means we are still in with a shout, but will need to get a string of wins going. The 2nd half will be a different Chelsea side, I think.
Well, what do you know? Cech makes the same error Almunia made with the Drogba free kick. Btw, I was wrong, not yet a "different Chelsea side" in the 2nd half. Looking at SWP's runs and contributions, I can only ask; when (O!when) will Walcott come good?
Wenger has said Rosicky's going to be out for a while with a groin injury. How many feckin injuries do we get????
Man I hope wenger plays the bloody under-17's for the champions league match we cannot afford anymore injuries (how often do we say that!). Does anyone know how far off are bendtner and clichy to fitness?
Bendtner and Clichy are about two weeks away. Looking at how City have handled Chelsea points to the reason the Manager stated that the Chavs were beatable. We need to take some lessons from this game, even though we know City only saves up for the big games and will,likely, lose or draw to/with a lower placed team.
but what this game has shown us again is that anyone can be beaten, I just can't help thinking what a great position we would have been in had we beaten Chelsea last weekend.
Yes Dberg, Wenger said he'd play the youngsters against Olimpiacos for them to show that they could do better than they did at City. He also mentioned that Gallas, Traore and Eboue could be back in a few days (not sure if that's soon enough for the trip to Athens) but Rosicky is out a bit longer... And yes the thought that we could be 5 points or even 2 points behind Chelsea with a game in hand is burning a hole in my brain right now!! >_<

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