Stoke v Arsenal preview
Both sides looking to get back to winning ways on Saturday
By William Esler. Last Updated: 27/04/12 11:55am
Peter Crouch battles Alex Song at the Emirates earlier in the season
Arsenal will look to cement third place in the Premier League when they travel to an out-of-form Stoke on Saturday.
However it could be a difficult task for the Gunners who have won just one of their four trips to the Britannia Stadium in all competitions since the Potters returned to the top flight.
The contest is one which also could produce goals, with four of the last five meetings between the sides ending 3-1.
Stoke have won just one of their last seven league games, a run which has seen them drop out of the top half of the table, however their home ground remains a fortress, losing at home just four times all season, holding both Manchester clubs to draws and defeating Liverpool.
Whilst the club are in no risk of relegation, Tony Pulis will want his side to finish the season on a positive note.
The Gunners will want to get back to winning ways after stumbling in recent weeks. A run of five straight wins was brought to an end by QPR, but they bounced back with an impressive win over Manchester City and a comfortable win at Wolves.
However that was followed by a shock 2-1 home defeat by Wigan, meaning Newcastle and Tottenham have been able to stay in touch with the Gunners in the race for a Champions League spot.
Andy Wilkinson will miss the game for Stoke with a groin injury and is also a doubt for Tuesday's game with Everton.
Jermaine Pennant has returned to training after two weeks out with a virus, but is unlikely to be fit enough to start the match.
Yossi Benayoun could return for Arsenal, having been ineligible to play against his parent club Chelsea last weekend.
Abou Diaby will be assessed ahead of the game as he continues to fight a virus which is also affecting Tomas Rosicky, though the Czech should be fit for the match.
Theo Walcott will miss the game with a hamstring injury picked up in the draw with Chelsea, but Arsene Wenger is hopeful he could be fit before the end of the season.
Mikel Arteta (ankle), Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Per Mertesacker (ankle) are all long-term absentees.
Potential Starting XIs
Stoke: Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Whitehead, Palacios, Whelan, Etherington, Walters, Crouch.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Ramsey, Song, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Benayoun, Rosicky, Van Persie.
Barclays Premier League
|9||West Ham United||35||47|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||35||40|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||35||27|