Arsenal travel to the Bet365 Stadium to take on Stoke City on Saturday afternoon. The Gunners won the previous outing at Stoke by a comfortable 4-1 scoreline, but it was their first victory in the venue in seven years.
Arsene Wenger adopted a makeshift defence for the 4-3 opening day triumph over Leicester City, but he will have senior faces back in the lineup for what has always been a tough trip.
Petr Cech was deemed to be at fault for the Leicester’s first goal last weekend, but the same could be said about Granit Xhaka, who should have won the battle with the much shorter Shinji Okazaki. Cech is a certainty in goal.
Hector Bellerin did not quite look at his best versus the Foxes, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could get the nod ahead of him for the right wing-back role with Sead Kolasinac making his first appearance at left wing-back.
Rob Holding had a poor game against the Foxes as he was the made the line of their attack. Wenger would no doubt bench him in place of Shkodran Mustafi. Alongside Mustafi, we could see a return for skipper Per Mertesacker, who has look assured at the three-at-the-back formation. Nacho Monreal will complete the backline.
Mohamed Elneny provide an excellent assist for Alexandre Lacazette’s maiden goal, but he is a likely candidate to drop to the bench with Aaron Ramsey set to return his regular midfield spot.
Granit Xhaka was at blame for all three of Leicester’s goal as poor man marking, and passing let him down. He still redeemed himself with a top assist for Aaron Ramsey’s vital goal in the 83rd minute, and Wenger will likely stick with the Swiss international.
Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck had played the supporting role just behind the main striker, and they could keep their positions with Alexis Sanchez still to recover from his abdominal strain.
Alexandre Lacazette scored just 94 seconds into his debut, and he is undoubtedly the preferred starter up front, although Olivier Giroud will stake a claim following another match winning effort off the bench.
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