Stoke City v Arsenal: Match Preview

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Premier League; Britannia Stadium; Saturday April 28: KO: 1500

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is without winger Theo Walcott after the England man injured his hamstring in the draw with Chesea last week.

Tomas Rosicky had to be withdrawn early from that game due to suffering from illness, but he has recovered sufficiently and should start.

Abou Diaby is a doubt as he has been ill all week, but Yossi Benayoun is available once more after being ineligible for the game with his parent club.

Stoke full-back Andy Wilkinson is ruled out after suffering a hamstring problem against Newcastle.

Winger Jermaine Pennant is trying to regain fitness following a virus, and is unlikely to start.

Wenger ready for Stoke bombardment

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident his Arsenal side will be well equipped for the visit to the Britannia Stadium in their Premier League fixture with Stoke City.

The Gunners tactician admitted his teams have often struggled there in the past but Wenger is sure his team can cancel out the expected aerial tactics of Tony Pulis’ side.

The Emirates Stadium outfit were abysmal in their last visit to the Potters, losing 3-1 during a terrible run that saw their season implode, but Wenger thinks the must-win nature of this fixture will spur his team on to victory.

“I believe that Stoke is always a difficult opponent for us and everybody. Every big team who goes to Stoke knows they get a game,” he told the club’s official website.

“From our side we are in a position where we want to win our remaining games. That is the only chance to master our future. We have our future in our own hands but only if we win the three games.

“That starts with Stoke so we are completely focused on cancelling their strong points but as well we want to score goals because that is what you need to win the games.”

Arsenal are currently third in the Premier League, three points ahead of in-form Newcastle United and have played one game more, so a win is vital if they are to secure the last automatic Champions League spot for next year.

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