Official StokeMAD Match preview: Stoke v Arsenal

Last updated : 23 January 2010 By Dan Buxton

The Potters host Arsenal this Sunday lunchtime in a game that sees two sides who are in good form of late and both looking to progress to the final sixteen on the competition.

Stoke sit 10th in the Premier League but are still only a couple of results away from the bottom three but are coming to the end of a tough set of fixtures. Arsenal are flying in the Premier League but will be expected to field a youthful side as they class they have more important league games either side of this game.

Stoke have a decent home record this season and have already beaten Burnley,West Ham, Sunderland, Fulham and Portsmouth whilst only losing to Manchester United, Birmingham and Chelsea. Arsenal got to the latter stages of the Carling Cup playing a young side and also defeated West Ham by two goals to one in the last round.

In the 40 matches between these sides at Stoke, the Potters have won 16, the visitors 10 and fourteen have been drawn. Last season when the pair clashed at the Britannia the game ended 2-1 to the Potters. Two mammoth FA Cup semi final ties in 1971 and 72 both ended with Arsenal progressing in replays, once after an extremely controversial injury time equaliser in the original game. Overall Arsenal have won 47 times to the Potters 21, whilst the Gunners have won all seven cup ties between the sides.

The referee is Martin Atkinson. He took charge as Stoke were beaten 1-0 by Birmingham in December but also refereed the early season win over West Ham. He has refereed Arsenal once this season, a 1-0 away win over Fulham.

The Met Office report that there will be light rain, temperatures of 6 degrees celsius very good visibility and a near non existent 2mph wind.

Prediction: Stoke outmuscle their young opponents and let the Gunners concentrate on bigger prizes, winning thanks to goals from Shawcross and Fuller