Arsenal welcome Stoke City to the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League today knowing nothing but a win will do if they are to take advantage of other results, while revenge will also be on their minds.
Arsene Wenger’s men were atrocious for much of the revers fixture at the Britannia Stadium in December and faced a 3-0 deficit at half-time. They eventually made it 3-2 but it was one of the poorest performances of a Wenger team since he took charge 18 years ago.
The Gunners’ last Premier League outing was the 20 defeat to Southampton at St Mary’s, a game in which Wojciech Szczesny was blamed for making mistakes and a story emerged claiming he had been caught smoking in the showers after the match. The young Pole appears to have paid for that episode, as David Ospina starts in goal.
Stoke have a terrible record away at the Emirates, but Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil are both available again after injury and can be called from the bench if things are going wrong for a starting XI that contains few shocks other than the goalkeeping change.
Ospina, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Cazorla, Alexis, Giroud.
Subs: Szczesny, Bellerin, Flamini, Ramsey, Ozil, Campbell, Walcott.
Begovic; Cameron, Wollscheid, Shawcross, Pieters; Nzonzi, Whelan; Arnautovic, Bojan, Walters; Crouch.
Subs: Butland, Muniesa, Ireland, Wilson, Moses, Adam, Sidwell.