Giroud starts vs Stoke City in must-win match

Paola Ditto
Mag 13, 2017

The north London side head into the game looking for a victory to keep their faint Champions League qualification hopes on track.

Any failure from Liverpool to secure maximum points would give Arsenal the opportunity to rise into the top-four in midweek, as the Gunners are due to play Sunderland before finishing their Premier League campaign at home to Everton.

Arsene Wenger insists he will happily take one for the team and face the Stoke boo-boys when Arsenal visit the bet365 Stadium on Saturday - if it means his side keep in the hunt for the top four.

The Potters have endured a hard end to the season, as they have only won one of their last nine games, although their form at home has been better, losing just twice in 12 league matches.

Olivier Giroud starts as Arsenal's solitary centre-forward on Saturday against Stoke City, a game Arsene Wenger's men must win to further their chances of making the Champions League.

"Wenger came out and moaned and groaned about the way we played and certainly wasn't gracious in defeat", former defender Andy Griffin said this week in the Sentinel, Stoke's local paper. "If they do that again, there will not be much space for Liverpool's creative players, which is why I am going for a draw".

"If the game is hard for me and good for the team, I am very happy to take that", Wenger said.

The Potters have drawn one and lost four of their five home games against the Premier League's top six this season - they won three of their six against the same sides in 2015-16 (D1 L2).

"I've got plenty of options and Mame did particularly well last weekend and got on the scoresheet so of course that comes into my mind". I believe that at the moment we have just to focus on our own performance and not to expect any weakness from our opponents.

City will have played their home game with West Bromwich Albion by the time Arsenal kick off at Stoke, but a Gunners victory is sure to stoke up the pressure on Liverpool, who are now in third.

Arsenal remain without Santi Cazorla, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Laurent Koscielny are doubts. "After that we'll see at the end of the season how we are".

Arsenal saw out victory with little trouble to complete a first league win at Southampton since their famous "Invincibles" season of 2003-04.

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