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Stoke v Arsenal: Gunners title hopes will be tested at bogey ground

| 17.01.2016

Having been denied three vital points by Joe Allen’s last gasp equaliser in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Anfield on Wednesday night, Arsenal will be all going out to reassert their Premier League challenge at Stoke City this afternoon.

It’s a pair of fixtures which could have major implications on the Gunners’ season, with Leicester City and Manchester City in close company at the sharp end of the table.

Arsenal’s trip to the Britannia promises to be a real test of their credentials, and despite winning five of their last seven league fixtures, Stoke’s home ground hasn’t been too rewarding for Arsene Wenger’s men in recent years.

The north Londoners have won just once at the Potters since Stoke entered the Premier League in 2008, and that came way back in 2010, while suffering four defeats in their seven visits.

At the Emirates in September Arsenal cruised to a 2-0 victory, but Stoke have found their feet of late – winning three of their last four games to firmly lodge themselves in the top half of the division.

Despite losing their last two trips to the Britannia, Arsenal are 10/11 favourites, with Mark Hughes’ men suffering defeat four times already on home soil, coupled with the Gunners’ impressive six wins on the road this season.

Stoke are 3/1 for victory, and Potters fans will have every reason to be confident having already sent Chelsea, Manchester City and Man United back home pointless.

A draw can be backed at 5/2, but with that result occurring just twice in the last 18 meetings between the teams in all competitions, history suggests this is an unlikely outcome.

Arsenal’s hopes are likely to rest again on the tireless efforts of Olivier Giroud – 4/1 to score first – who has netted three times in his last two appearances, including a superb brace against Liverpool in midweek.

The Frenchman is in fine form and Ladbrokes are feeling generous this afternoon by boosting Giroud to score and Arsenal to win from 7/4 to 9/4.

Stoke will hope Jonathan Walters continues his recent run of good form in this fixture, having scored in both of the Staffordshire side’s last two victories over Wenger’s men.

The Ireland international is 9/1 to net first – 4/1 anytime – and is fine form having scored three times in four games.

As the aftershow to Liverpool versus Manchester United on Super Sunday, the Sky Sports cameras will be in place this afternoon, and that means you can take advantage of Ladbrokes’ Double Odds offer.

Simply back a player to score first and if that selection nets the opening goal of the game inside the first 25 minutes, you’ll be paid out double the odds!

Should that man be the in-form Giroud, your 4/1 would be paid out at a handsome 8/1, while if it’s Walters who bags the opener you’ll be receiving a payout at 18s!

For full Double Odds T&Cs click here.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.