Arsenal travel to Stoke on Saturday following their dramatic opening day victory over Leicester. That was a very good result and I am sure the fans were thrilled to see them fight back like they did. However, they did show that they need to work on their defensive play in that game, they allowed Leicester too many chances.
Premier League – Saturday 19th August – 17:30 UK Time
Best Odd of: 7/2 at Betway
Best Odd of: 11/4 at Betfred
Best Odd of: 17/20 at Ladbrokes
Stoke lost their opener at Everton but back on home soil they will feel a lot more comfortable. They are the under dogs for this, but that won’t mind them and they will head out on to the pitch knowing they are capable of causing an upset.
Stoke didn’t perform too badly last weekend, although they will want to be more clinical in front of goal. They played well in parts, but only had one shot on target in the game and that is a number they need to improve on.
Back at home Stoke are a much better team and they will probably be a little more attacking in the game due to that. With three players like Xherdan Shaqiri, Bojan and Saido Berahino leading their attacking moves, Stoke will score goals at home. Despite facing Arsenal this weekend, I still hope that Stoke play an expansive game where they attack the vulnerable Arsenal back line.
Stoke have a good all-round team capable of finishing mid-table this season and after a loss last weekend they will want to get back on track. This is a tough game for them, but with a bit of belief and the crowd behind them, they have every chance of taking something from it.
While Arsenal will have been thrilled to score four goals in their opener, they won’t have been happy to concede three. Their defence has always been an area of concern and after just one game this season it looks to be a problem area again. They will always create chances and with new signing Alexandre Lacazette already on the score sheet, he looks like he could be the one to finish a lot of them off.
Arsenal managed just 5th position last season, falling out of the top four. That is something they will want back this season, although it is very tough and six clubs are competing for those four spots. A good start will certainly help them, and if they pick up another win here then that will take them to six points from two games.
I don’t expect Stoke to make too many changes from last weekend, despite losing to Everton. They are comfortable defensively and with the trio of attacking players they have, they will create some more chances this weekend I am hoping. They have the ability to score goals, defend well and cause problems for Arsenal.
The one area that Arsenal need to concentrate on is in defence after a poor showing last weekend. The victory and the way they fought back will cover that up, but the fact is that yet again Arsenal look vulnerable in defence. This is something they need to sort, either by changing the personnel or by changing the way that they play.
Top Betting Tips
I am hopeful that Stoke can get something from this game, despite coming here on the back of a loss last weekend and despite playing a team as good as Arsenal. I am expecting the game to be entertaining and have some goals, and I really do believe that Stoke are capable of getting something.
The first bet I am going to place on this game is over 3.5 goals, which is available at 15/8 with Betfred and Stan James. Both teams know how to score goals and have attacking threats, while Arsenal were very poor defensively last weekend which gives me hope we will see goals again.
The second bet I am going to place is correct score bet on the score line 2-2. This is available at 14/1 with Ladbrokes and William Hill and offers tremendous value. I think we will see plenty of goals, and I do think that Stoke can take something from the game, despite playing a top team. A draw is a result they would take right now and it may be what Arsenal have to settle for in this one.
Let’s hope for both plenty of goals and a 2-2 drawn game in what looks set to be an entertaining and attacking game between these two teams.