Stoke City out to upset Arsenal's Champions League hopes

Arsenal will aim to keep their Top 4 hopes alive when they face Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

Any doubt about the game's outcome looked to have disappeared when Arsenal doubled their lead through Mesut Ozil on 55 minutes with a stunningly simple goal.

Arsenal endured an anxious spell in the second half after Stoke substitute Peter Crouch reduced the arrears to 2-1 with a goal scored using his arm that was allowed to stand.

Arsenal travel to Stoke for a Saturday evening game this weekend, lying just three points behind fourth-placed Manchester City following their midweek win at Southampton.

Arsenal: "Traditionally there is a fierce rivalry and they had always a very direct game against us".

Arsenal will be facing a Stoke side with just one win from their last nine games, yet Stoke manager Mark Hughes is confident his players will rise to the occasion.

"Look, if you don't turn up, you don't win the game", he continued.

Arsene Wenger believes Granit Xhaka has been a success at Arsenal despite criticism throughout the season that he ended up moving for him instead of Chelsea's N'Golo Kante last summer.

The bet365 Stadium has traditionally been a tricky away trip for Arsene Wenger's men and he is well aware that anything other than a victory won't be good enough if Arsenal want to secure the much-coveted and talked about top four spot.

It didn't take long before the Gunners restored their two-goal cushion, though, with Sanchez turning from provider to scorer after the defenders backed off to allow the Chilean to run at goal and force a shot past the keeper and into the bottom corner. "Gunners" cannot win "Britannia Stadium" for six consecutive years. We have a big game again on Tuesday. Anything short of a win for Jurgen Klopp's side will take their fate out of their own hands and could potentially leave them requiring city rivals Everton to do them a huge favour at the Emirates on the final day of the season.

Sanchez called for a substitution after seemingly tweaking his thigh with a little over 15 minutes remaining, but there was still time for him to score Arsenal's third of the game before eventually being withdrawn. Stoke are now regular participants in the Premier League for years, and that means that anybody who goes there is in trouble. Is the pressure on Wenger's team "red" will continue with the help of victory over the "Stoke City"?

  • Julie Sanders