The more cynical Arsenal observers would suggest that it’s simply a question of when, not if, the next meltdown occurs. It could be at Stoke. They certainly played well in mid week and so nearly got a draw from a buoyant Manchester United side at Old Trafford.
Stoke deserve a result and will be fired up for this one. Arsenal don’t always like facing the more physical sides but there is more cultured look about The Potters under Mark Hughes and this may actually play into Arsenal’s hands.
The Gunners are still towards the top of the injury tables and currently have eight players out. But they may be able to welcome back their No.1 goalkeeper and Theo Walcott this weekend. The former should go straight into the side but Walcott will have a more gradual reintroduction to first team matters.
Thankfully, the defensive injury problems are clearing up and Arsenal can name an almost full strength back line of Gibbs, Mertescaker, Koscielny and Chambers. The bigger questions lie further forward where Olivier Giroud has been impressvie since his return.
Does Arsene drop Danny Welbeck or try to squeeze both in? We think Welbeck and The Ox will play either side of Sanchez in the 3 behind the striker, with Cazorla dropping out.
Anything could happen in this one and any team will do very well to come away from The Britannia with three points.