Stoke preview: Some revenge on the cards.
I frankly do not understand the nervy feeling I have whenever we have to travel to play “Stokey” teams. I mean teams like Bolton, Blackburn, Sunderland and this weekend’s opponents Stoke City. The results of matches between both teams at the Britannia stadium have greatly favoured the home team and I am very sure the boys are ready to give the Potters some beating come Saturday afternoon. I clearly remember the game against them last season which was in my opinion our worst match of the entire campaign. We barely mustered an effort on goal and conceded 2 identical goals from Rory Delap’s missiles. The midfielder’s throws have proved a great asset to the Potters and they utilize his strengths to its maximum; he has single-handedly won them matches. Even in the F.A Cup this season, we conceded our first goal from his throw. Arsene knows this and has been thinking of ways to counter this threat. “You can try [to practice defending them] but it’s difficult because the ball is so flat,” said the Frenchman. “As well, there are so many people in the box that sometimes for the keeper [it’s difficult]“. But Le Boss believes that apart from Delap, Stoke also pose danger from other parts of the pitch. “They are not one-dimensional. Etherington has been arguably the player of the season far. Ricardo Fuller holds players off so well”, the professor calmly noted.
Sol will most likely come in to replace Fish head and partner TV5 at the heart of the defence. He should do well against the projectiles from Rory. I also feel Sagna will return to his position at right back, a front 3 of Nikky B, Theo/Eboue and Samir/Tomas should be enough to break down the potters’ defence. I am going to be positive on this one and go for a 2 nil win to the Arsenal. I must confess that a clean sheet looks highly unlikely from the way our previous visits have panned out, but if we are serious about winning the league, we should get nothing less than a victory from this game. And what better way to start off things than with a clean sheet? I’l actually miss a pool party to watch my beloved team play, and I do hope it’s worth it. Manchester IOU wont be playing in the League this weekend because of their Carling Cup final match against Villa, but Chelski host Citeh at the Bridge. That should be one cracker of a game! I’l love to see Wayne Bridge square up against JT scum and a win for the left back coupled with an Arsenal victory will really make my weekend. But for now, all I can do is watch, hope and pray.
So, from wherever you are reading, have fun.
9jabred says so!