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afc Stoke City v Arsenal, Saturday 1st November, KO 3pm

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Arsenal could be without William Gallas and Emmanuel Eboue for the trip to Stoke on Saturday.Both defenders were involved in the 4-4 draw with Tottenham on Wednesday night and picked up niggles. The captain has a hamstring problem while the Ivorian defender is struggling with his knee. The former is almost certainly out while the latter is facing further tests.“It looks like Gallas will be out and maybe Eboue too,” Wenger told Arsenal TV Online on Thursday lunchtime. “We’ll assess him tomorrow.“It is a little recurrence of the hamstring for William and for Manu it is his knee. He is not running properly at the moment. He still has pain there.”
Arsène Wenger will continue to rotate his squad as fixture congestion begins to bite.The Frenchman takes his team to Stoke on Saturday for their fifth game in a fortnight and the first of eight fixtures in the month of November. Wenger has tinkered with his line-up in recent weeks and will continue that policy at the Britannia Stadium."We have to a little bit," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online. "It is at the moment rotation without being detrimental to the balance of the team. We play again on Wednesday and then on Saturday morning against Manchester United."Injuries and suspensions can force a manager's hand when it comes to team selection. So what else does Wenger consider when he picks his side during busy periods?"First of all you look at the positions in the team where people have to put more mental or physical effort in." explained the Frenchman."Then you look at the capacity of the players to repeat, the players who are injury prone more than others. There is a lot of things coming in to your mind when you make these kind of decisions. How much has been given in the last game, all that."
Arsène Wenger believes his players are “united, passionate and want to win” despite the disappointing draw with Tottenham on Wednesday.Arsenal have taken some criticism after shipping two late goals against their near-neighbours in midweek. Media reports on Friday morning talked of disagreements in the dressing room after strikes from Jermaine Jenas and Aaron Lennon stole a point.However Wenger says his side know the “truth on the inside” and stressed the togetherness in his team.“We were all very disappointed,” he told Arsenal.com. “The mood in the dressing room was of disbelief and frustration. But the players are united, passionate and want to win.“They are in this together, they want to be winners together. We have a long way to go and we are all determined to show that we can fight for this title together. We know the truth on the inside and that is not what has been projected on the outside. We know what we have to do.”Of course, Tottenham’s late rally was a blow and left Arsenal six points off leaders Liverpool. However, while it felt like it was a defeat, Wenger’s men actually drew the game and rose to third on the strength of it.“Yes it’s not all bad but it is disappointing,” said Wenger. “Our run is going on and I would say the future of our season lies in how much we learn from games like that.“We have fantastic potential but the future of the team is about what we do with that potential. We want to address that very quickly and respond.”
Mikael Silvestre insists that Arsenal can bounce back “very quickly” at Stoke on Saturday after their shock 4-4 draw against Tottenham in midweek. With only seconds of normal time remaining in Wednesday’s North London derby at Emirates Stadium, Arsenal were cruising at 4-2. However two last-gasp Spurs goals secured an unlikely point for the Gunners’ old enemy. Silvestre, who scored his first Arsenal goal against Harry Redknapp’s men, admitted that the draw was difficult to stomach but was certain that there were plus-points from the performance. “As the manager said there was a lot of positive things about this game but it is something we have to bounce back from very quickly,” said the 31-year-old. “It was painful because, at 4-2 up, you think you have won it and conceding two goals in the last four or five minutes of the game is very hard. It feels like we lost that game. “I didn't think I would score that early in my Arsenal career but it was good to get it back to 1-1.“I think we made it difficult for ourselves because we had to concede that first goal to press a bit more, be more aggressive and more positive in our game. “We would rather play like we played at West Ham, where we were much more sturdy. It was a good team performance there. If we can repeat that [on Saturday] it would be better than the 4-4.”
Arsène Wenger believes that his side must pick up points against their title rivals if they are to win the Premier League this season. Arsenal are currently six points adrift of leaders Liverpool and the manager is adamant that the gap cannot grow if they are to stay in the title hunt. Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stoke, the Frenchman insisted that wins against the so-called ‘Big Four’ will secure the Premier League title.“We want to come back as quickly as possible,” said the manager. “It looks like our future in this Premier League relies on how well we do against the other contenders. “There is always another game around the corner and the future of the team depends on how well we respond after the disappointing result. That is why Saturday's game is important.”

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Stoke defender Abdoulaye Faye believes it is possible to intimidate Arsenal and has predicted an upset in Saturday's clash at the Britannia Stadium.The Gunners have developed a reputation in recent years as a side that does not relish the physical battle of some Premier League games.Faye had success against Arsenal during his time with Bolton and believes Stoke also possess the qualities to trouble Arsene Wenger's men."Of all the real contenders to win the Premier League, Arsenal are the softest," said Faye."They don't like it when teams are physical. They are a very good side and can play football - but at Bolton we just used to press them and they didn't like it."It is possible to scare them and I don't know why everybody doesn't do it."They don't like playing big strong guys and we're not short of those here."Faye feels that Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool are much better equipped for such situations.He explained: "Chelsea have the likes of John Terry, Manchester United have Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, while Liverpool have the likes of Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel."Arsenal don't really have that and they could be in for a big shock against us."I think there's a real possibility we could beat them."Rory Delap's long throw-ins have been a major weapon for the Potters this season and Faye reckons Arsenal's lack of height at the back makes them vulnerable."I have never seen anything like this in my life," Faye said of his team-mate."I'm positive Arsenal won't like it because they don't really have a big man."
William Gallas believes his side are a “tight-knit” unit who can still challenge for trophies this season.The 31-year-old scored just after half-time in midweek to give Arsenal a 2-1 lead in the North London derby. Arsène Wenger’s side went on to lead 4-2 but were pegged back by two Tottenham goals in the final few minutes.As a result, it has been a soul-searching few days for the Emirates Stadium club but, even though he will miss the game at Stoke on Saturday, Gallas wants his side to come out fighting.“We know we should have taken all three points on Wednesday night but it did not happen,” he said. “I know it doesn't feel like it but we got a draw. It was the minimum we deserved.“But we cannot dwell on one game. We have to stay focussed on what is ahead of us and not what is behind. We are a tight- knit unit working together with belief and desire to challenge for trophies. We can do it.“That starts tomorrow at Stoke. Unfortunately a scan has revealed that I have pulled my hamstring so sadly I won't be involved but the boys are determined to come back with three points. “We showed our patience, commitment and skill against West Ham and we can do it again, one game at a time. We are in this race and want to stay in it and will give everything, that is the least our fans deserve. They were tremendous on Wednesday night and we want to repay their unwavering support.”

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Saw the whole 90minsPainful viewing, stoke are the wrst team ive eva seen, make Bolton look like Barca..They have 5 of the worst African players ive eva seenHow can a top flight team play soley 4 throw ins??Rory Delap is betta with his hands than he is on the deckWe neva got going, lacked any rhythm, body language was poor, echos ov the aftermath of weds nite imoNo1 was up for the battleWe played in2 their hands with the team selectionWas a beyond a joke really

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Poor poor poor poor poor performance..Why is Djourou not being given a chance?What made Wenger think that line up would inflict damage to Stoke? Stoke were always going to defend & play for set pieces, we needed all of our best attacking players on the pitch from the jump.What a f*cking sh*t week for football & with the injuries & suspensions it's looking like a sh*t November aswell.

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Disgraceful.Wenger amazes me.Van Persie, Nasri & Walcott IMO where all expected to be the first names on the team-sheet as those where the three subbed on Wednesday, yet I find all three on the bench.Its boring now with Almunia too, man jumped over the ball like the ball going over his head wasnt enough...van Persie's a d*ck too.Honestly dont know wha gwarn, cos everything I predicted this season to happen to other clubs is happening, but Wenger just f*ck*ng up the plan with these funny style decisions.

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no suprises. toure is f*ck*ng sh*t n ive been saying it for 3 seasonsno heart. wenger is a mug. goodbye cesc this summer good luck mate cant blame you

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no suprises. toure is f*ck*ng sh*t n ive been saying it for 3 seasonsno heart. wenger is a mug. goodbye cesc this summer good luck mate cant blame you
Don't get why people say the bit in red, he's been f*ck*ng awful too and shouldn't be immune to criticism.

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Guest LucaPiano

Sagna - Toure - Gallas - Clichy Vela - Ramsey - Diaby- Nasri ---------Eduardo---RVP---------

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Guest Robin Van Persie

dunno what to say as it will get worse before it gets betterwe aren't equipped for the league that is for surefeels like 2 seasons ago all over again.backwards stepsSMH

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