The current side will be full of confidence after an efficient 2-1 away win in the Champions League against Marseille. A win against Stoke should keep the Gunners at least second in the Premier League, there is even a chance they could move top.
Here is the side Arsene Wenger may go with for the match.
GK – Wojciech Szczesny
The Polish shot stopper should continue in goal as the current number one. His confidence will be growing with every game because he’s got a decent defence in front of him and he wasn’t replaced by a new signing during the summer.
RB – Bacary Sagna
Expect the Frenchman to maintain his position at right back. He’s looking as confident as he’s ever been in an Arsenal shirt with both parts of his game looking productive at the moment. He looks well organised at the back and provides an extra option when he moves forward.
CB – Per Mertesacker
There is no reason to drop the big German following the Marseille match. He’s been a key component in Arsenal’s current back four for a lengthy period of time and seems to have worked out the best way to get the maximum out of himself. He should also be slightly fresher having missed last weekend’s Premier League action.
CB – Laurent Koscielny
It will be very tempting for Wenger to try and get Thomas Vermaelen back into the defence but Koscielny should continue at left centre half. The Frenchman has that pace which Mertesacker lacks and he seems to have a good understanding with the German which makes it pointless to break that up.
LB – Kieran Gibbs
The only reason for Wenger to bring Nacho Monreal in would be due to fatigue with Gibbs. However, he’s a young man and seems to be thriving in his role as the main left back of the side. His pace going forward and getting back is more than useful.
RM – Theo Walcott
Walcott’s confidence will be sky high after bagging a goal against Marseille. He was criticised for his finishing against Sunderland last week so it’s a significant strike. His pace looks good and he looks comfortable taking care of Arsenal’s right hand side.
CM – Mathieu Flamini
Flamini is better than being a simple utility man who can fill in across any position in the midfield. Expect him to play a sort of holding roll, breaking up the play and winning possession back for the Gunners before laying it off to a more creative and attacking player.
CM – Aaron Ramsey
Ramsey continues to enjoy possibly the best spell of his Arsenal career. He has to play because there is no one better at the club right now when it comes to bursting forward from the middle, popping up in on the shoulder of the opposition defence which makes him difficult to mark.
CM – Jack Wilshere
Wilshere is as good as anyone else in Arsenal’s midfield when it comes to controlling the ball. He hasn’t quite been at his best this season but with Ramsey’s aggression, he can afford to sit and dominate the middle of the pitch for Arsenal. He controls the tempo of Arsenal’s midfield play.
LM – Mesut Ozil
Ozil played a slightly wider position against Marseille and it seemed to work. Gibbs gets forward to provide the width which means the German can cut inside, more centrally where he can get on the ball and be effective.
ST – Olivier Giroud
Giroud would have been disappointed not to have scored on a return to France. He’ll go into this game against Stoke with a point to prove as he seeks to maintain his strike rate so far this season. His height and strength will also be key against a strong Stoke back four.
What do you think? Who would you like to see in the team?
image: © wonker