Arsenal v Stoke;
Barclays Premier League;
Sun, 23th Oct; 1330 KO
Carl Jenkinson is a doubt for Arsenal after picking up a knee injury against Marseille in the Champions League. Kieran Gibbs is also facing injury trouble with a stomach muscle strain.
Stoke are hoping that Jermaine Pennant will pass a late fitness test, with the winger battling a hamstring problem. Danny Higginbotham is a possible inclusion, after playing for the reserves.
Wenger won’t underestimate Stoke
Arsene Wenger believes that Stoke have hit a new level of talent, and the Arsenal manager has insisted he won’t be taking this weekend’s match up lightly, despite the Gunners boasting a home advantage.
The Potters currently sit seventh in the Barclays Premier League table, three places above a struggling Arsenal.
And while Wenger knows how important it is to take three points away from this game, he insists he won’t be complacent about taking on the physical side.
“Financially... they have moved up,” Wenger told the official Arsenal website.
“When you buy Crouch that means financially they have made a big effort. That means now they are in a different category of clubs, yes of course.
“They are a good team, especially offensively. Pennant, Etherington, Walters, Crouch, Jerome - offensively they have huge potential.
“They are always difficult at the back to beat because the back four is stable and doesn't push forward too much. They go for a more direct game, that's why it is difficult to get them out of position.”
But Wenger admits that the Gunners are banking on the match being at the Emirates to give them an edge over their opponents. Arsenal: Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos, Arteta, Walcott, Song, Rosicky, Gervinho, Van Persie. Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Upson, Wilson, Delap, Whelan, Etherington, Pennant, Walters, Jones.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos, Arteta, Walcott, Song, Rosicky, Gervinho, Van Persie.
Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Upson, Wilson, Delap, Whelan, Etherington, Pennant, Walters, Jones.
“But at home we have always done well against them and that is what we want to continue to do.”
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