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Crouch to make life difficult during hard-fought Arsenal win

| 28.02.2014

The Britannia Stadium may have lost its membership to the Premier League fortress club, but a visit to Stoke will still breed nervousness for Arsenal, who carry a poor record in the Potteries.

Arsenal have only recorded a single victory at the Britannia since Stoke’s return to the promised land, leaving with shared spoils on the last two occasions and tasting defeat twice also.

However, those results were all in the Tony Pulis era and not once in those five trips can Arsene Wenger claim to have been in charge of genuine title contenders as the Frenchman is now.

This current band of Arsenal brothers are no steal at 8/11 to inflict defeat on Mark Hughes’ team, but following one of their most comprehensive victories of the season over Sunderland last time out, they are worthy favourites.

Sparky’s desired move towards a more expansive, possession-based game may be commendable, but as the Welshman found out in a 3-1 loss to Arsenal earlier in the season, there is still a chasm between what they are attempting and what Wenger has perfected.

Furthermore, aside from the anomaly of their Anfield annihilation, Arsenal own the second-best away record in the Premier League, having won eight of their previous 13 away from the Emirates.

One man sure to be a thorn in Arsenal’s side, though, is Peter Crouch.

The conjurer of ‘the robot’ is not only in terrific form at the Britannia – where he’s notched four in his last six league games – but he loves a goal against the Gunners too.

A hat-trick against Arsenal in his Liverpool days represented three of seven career Premier League goals against them, so the 5/2 about him scoring anytime resonates here.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.