Stoke v Arsenal – Britannia Stadium at 16:15 live on Sky Sports 1
The second half of today’s Premier League action comes from the Potteries as Arsene Wenger’s title chasing Arsenal, look to reclaim their spot at the top of table by beating Mark Hughes’s impressive yet frustrating Stoke team.
The Welshman has slowly but surely transformed Stoke from a sotic, workman like side into a free flowing and entertaining team, with amongst others, a number of ex Barcelona & Bayern Munich stars such as Bojan, Shaqiri, Afellay & much improved Marko Arnautovic.
However, they are not the finished article just yet and are missing a top class goal scorer to complement their creative attackers and solid backline, in which Jack Butland has been impressing to such a degree that he could displace Joe Hart as England’s number one in the not too distant future.
Similarly, Arsenal despite the possibility of going two points clear at the top with a win, also look to be lacking one or two players top class players that would see them step up to the next level both domestically and in the Champions League.
A world class striker would certainly aid Arsenal’s chances of closing out a title challenge which, is in their own hands at the moment but, could easily slip away due to lack of killer instincts and inexperience of getting over the line.
Today’s game will be a real test of both teams credentials and Wenger will be desperate for his side to reverse their fortunes at this ground, to show they really are capable of winning the title for the first time in over ten years.
Previous clashes between these two have very much been dominated by the side that is playing at home, in fact there has not been an away win in this fixture in the previous 11 meetings! Not good news for the Gunners, but they are the second best away side in the league so far this season, having picked up 20 points from their 11 away days.
Meanwhile, Stoke have not been quite as strong at home as most people would normally expect. They have claimed 16 points from 10 home games so far but, defeats in front of their own fans, should give Arsenal hope that they can finally end their poor form on this ground today.
Looking at the markets for this match Arsenal have been priced up at 2.00 which, based on my model makes them at shade of value and worth backing in today’s crucial game. I have thought that Arsenal will win the league, if key players stay clear of injury, for some time now so I am happy to back them here to win a tough game on the road.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Arsenal -0.5 at 2.00
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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