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Preview: Arsenal v Stoke: team news, line-up with Ramsey/Koscielny out + prediction

By on March 31, 2018

Arsenal get back to Premier League action when we take on Stoke City at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.

We have virtually no chance of finishing in the top four as we are currently sixth in the table and a whopping 13 points off fourth-placed Tottenham.

We now have Burnley breathing down our necks as they’re just two points behind us but we have to focus our attention on winning the Europa League this season.

CSKA Moscow arrive at the Emirates on Thursday night for the first leg of our quarter-final tie so no doubt Arsene Wenger will have one eye on that match tomorrow.

Team News

Sead Kolasinac is expected to be passed fit after taking part in full training today after recovering from a knock which he picked up while away with the Bosnian squad.

Jack Wilshere is also available despite being sent home early from international duty with England after sustaining a knee injury in training last week.

Aaron Ramsey is in contention after making a swift recovery from a minor groin procedure that kept him out of duty with Wales but Santi Cazorla remains out.

Alexandre Lacazette will return to the squad after building on his fitness during the international break having not featured since the defeat at Tottenham in early February.

Stoke are set to welcome Mame Biram Diouf back in to their squad after he recovered from a should problem but Charlie Adam starts a three-game suspension.

Preferred line-up

Cech will start in goal as Ospina will be the keeper in the Europa League and I hope Wenger rests Koscielny and Monreal [at least] ahead of the CSKA match.

Holding can come in alongside Mustafi while Kolasinac is fit to start at right-back. Ideally we’d also rest Bellerin but we don’t have too many viable options to come in.

I would not risk Wilshere or Ramsey tomorrow so Elneny can play in midfield alongside Xhaka while Iwobi should get another chance to impress.

Obviously Aubameyang will start up front as he’s ineligible in Europe while Ozil and Mkhitaryan should support him in attack. Overall, I expect a similar side to the one that played against Watford prior to the Milan game.

Stoke: Butland, Bauer, Shawcross, Zouma, Stafylidis, Cameron, Allen, Ndiaye, Sobhi, Shaqiri, Diouf

Prediction

We are generally terrible away to Stoke at the Britannia but our home record is superb as we’ve won our last 12 home league games against the Potters.  Stoke sit 19th in the table and are a poor side these days so even a weakened Arsenal shouldn’t have too much trouble at the Emirates. I’m going for a routine 2-0 win. Arsenal 2-0 Stoke

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