Arsenal’s Premier League final revival starts on Sunday when they host Stoke City at the Emirates and make the final improbable but not impossible push for a top four finish this season.
Team and Injury News:
Arsenal have Alexandre Lacazette back in contention for the game while Wilshere took a nibble in the England training and was forced to come back from the camp. Otherwise apart from Cazorla, everyone is fit for the Gunners. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is expected to start for the Gunners up front while it has to be seen who pairs Granit Xhaka in the midfield.
Jack Wilshere has been a central figure at Arsenal this season
For Stoke, Choupo Moting is out with a groin problem and Ibrahim Afellay is also not in the squad. Charlie Adam is suspended following his red card against Everton. The Potters will welcome Diouf and defender Erik Pieters, the striker had a shoulder problem that kept him out a couple of weeks while the latter was left out of the squad due to disciplinary issues.
Arsene Wenger’s side have one eye at the Europa League as that is the only probable way for them to Champions League next season. They have a Europa League Quarter Finals match next week and Gunners manager will be making his team selection keeping that in mind.
Aubameyang celebrating with teammates
Although Steve Bould said about Wenger’s will and desire, it is strongly believed that Arsenal’s this season’s results will have a massive say on Wenger’s future. For the Stoke clash though, Arsenal will be eyeing to continue their recent good run as they have won the last three in all competitions.
For the Potters, they are currently 19th in the table and need to get their foot in the gas as soon as possible. The relegation battle is going to be intense and their manager Paul Lambert will be recollecting the positive vibes from their early season home victory against the Gunners, where Jese scored the winner for them. But the gloomy things for Stoke is that they are seven matches without a win in the league, and without a win in an away league game since October.
Predicted Line Up:
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Maitland-Niles; Elneny, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi; Aubameyang
Stoke City: Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Zouma, Pieters; Ndiaye, Allen, Jese; Shaqiri, Berahino, Diouf
Betting Odds: (via betfair)
Stoke City: 10
The match will be telecast live on Star Sports Select 1 and 1 HD from 18.00 IST on SUnday for Indian viewers.