The delayed clash against the Gunners has always looked like a tough match for the Potters with our record at the Emirates hardly likely to stir the bookies into increasing the odds on Arsenal taking all three points, so even a point in our ‘game in hand’ would be regarded as a major success as we continue our push towards a fourth successive season in the Premier League.
Not the first time, (and to the point that it’s getting very predictable and boring) Tony Pulis is warning both the players and fans that there must be no complacency. ‘I went to their game with Barcelona and it was a fantastic game,’
For all of Barcelona’s dominance, and they were very dominant at times, Arsenal still had very good chances. Robin van Persie could have scored a hat-trick.’
Arsenal Team News:
It’s a good job then that van Persie is ruled out with a hamstring injury after they suffered an humiliating draw with Leyton Orient in the FA Cup at the weekend. Diaby is also suspended for the match
Player to watch: Samir Nasri
Nasri was rested against Orient on Sunday and so will be raring to start. With fourteen goals so far this season, Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross must watch him very closely.
Stoke City Team News:
Matty Etherington is a doubt after picking up a back injury due to a ‘misaligned jaw bone’ according to TP (work that one out!). But he still could be fit after coming off as a precautionary measure in the win over Brighton at the weekend.
Player to watch: John Carew
The Norwegian international seems to be enjoying his loan spell at the Brit and doubled his goal tally in the 3-0 win over Brighton at the weekend. But whether TP regards him as good enough for a permanent deal in the summer remains to be seen.
Match Facts & Stats
The Gunners may not like the Brit, but we don’t seem to like our trips to the Emirates either. The 4-1 defeat there on the last day of the season two years ago improved slightly last year with just a 2-0 defeat. So maybe we’ve now got a chance of a point or three?
Peter Walton (oh, no!)
Monday 28th February: West Brom (home) kick-off: 8pm * SKY TV