Arsenal’s early season test starts off this weekend as the Gunners travel to Stoke City, often the bogey opponent of Arsene Wenger’s side in the last few years. The North London side would like to continue their winning start but it is quite obvious that a strong Stoke side will be a stern test.
Belgium striker Ngoy will be sidelined for at least six weeks due to his thigh injury while Ibrahim Afellay and Stephen Ireland will miss the tie.
For the away side, striker Alexis Sanchez will be missing as he is recovering from an abdominal injury, while Laurent Koscielny will be absent as he is serving the last of his three match ban.
Gabriel will not feature as the Brazilian is set to join Valencia, so is Lucas Perez who nears a move to Deportivo la Coruna.
Stoke may hand debut to their new blockbuster signing Jese Rodriguez, the Chelsea loanee Zouma may also start. Their star man last season, Venezuelan Salomon Rondon may again start from the bench as Berahino or Jese may well be the first choice striker.
For Arsenal, Wenger will be eyeing to field a strong team against a physical Stoke side. Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey, the heroes of the previous win may start and Lacazette may well be used along with him.
Mustafi, Mertesacker and Coquelin all are available and the current German international may earn his place in the starting line up straight away.
Match Timing and Broadcast:
The match will be shown live on Star Sports Select 1 and Star Sports Select HD 1 on Saturday from 22.00 IST.
In the last meeting at the Bet365 stadium, Arsenal beat Stoke City 4-1 at the latter end of last season. Giroud, Ozil and Sanchez were among the scorers for Arsenal and Crouch scored a controversial goal for the Potters.