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Wenger plays down Stoke City ‘History’. We’ve got it covered……

Arsenal and Stoke City
                                           History of Arsenal and Stoke City physical games

Thank God the international break is over and now we can all enjoy the Barclays Premier League this weekend. The transfer window has closed and new arrivals are settling in at their new clubs. But just how will the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Antony Martial take to life in the Premier League this season? Your guess is as good as mine…

As an Arsenal fan, I am a bit worried we have still not won at home yet and looking forward to the game against Stoke city this afternoon.

Arsene Wenger insists there is no bad blood between Arsenal and Stoke despite there being “history” between the two clubs in recent years. This afternoon’s encounter is the 12th meeting since midfielder Aaron Ramsey broke his leg after a horrendous challenge by Ryan Shawcross during a Premier League encounter in February 2010.

Ryan Shawcross was sent off that day and booed by Arsenal supporters ever since. The centre-back will miss the clash at Emirates Stadium after undergoing spinal surgery in pre-season but the contest will still have an edge to it with each side viewed as the aesthetic converse of the other. But we need to remember Stoke have never beaten Arsenals at the Emirates, although, last season’s game – Stoke played better than the Gunners and still lost that game.

According to Wenger “They have always had good teams and overall when we go to Stoke they are always specially motivated against us. There is history a little bit because of what happened and overall lit was always very difficult for us.

“For me there was never bad blood, it was just a game that was always very difficult for us to play. But I always focus on playing football and trying to get my team to play as well as we can.”

Arsenals have not yet won at home this season after losing on the opening day to West Ham (2-0) before being held goalless by Liverpool. The Gunners away form has been 100% though as they have won both matches on the road – at Crystal Palace and Newcastle.  Wenger is urging his side to replicate that form in front of their own supporters who pay the most expensive tickets to have good and entertaining football.

Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam will be missing this afternoon’s game through suspensions, having been sent off last week – so I have got to go for an Arsenal win at home. I am therefore predicting a 3-0 win for the Gunners to get to second gear at home. I personally think Stoke look too open in midfield with the departure of Steven N’Zonzi to Sevilla and Arsenal would dominate and pick their pockets all day this afternoon in an open game at the Emirates.