Ex-Liverpool star Michael Owen has backed Arsenal to run out winners in their Saturday evening away match to Stoke City, which will be an early test of the Gunners’ title credentials. Arsenal kicked off their season with a pulsating 4-3 home win over Leicester City, while Stoke lost 1-0 away to Everton without causing new Toffees keeper Jordan Pickford much concern.
In his weekly betting preview for bookmakers BetVictor, the former England striker gave his opinion on the Gunners’ potentially tricky away tie to the west Midlands side. Owen explained: “Arsenal have won four of their last five PL games against the Potters and I think they can add to that tally in the late kick off on Saturday.
“Olivier Giroud’s excellent winning goal against Leicester was his 99th in an Arsenal shirt and I think the Gunners will have too much in the attacking third for Mark Hughes’s side who posed little as an attacking threat at Goodison Park on Saturday.”
Traditionally, the game has always been widely viewed by pundits as a rather ‘chalk-and-cheese’ affair. In Tony Pulis’ days at the Britannia Stadium particularly, the Potters earned a reputation as a tough-tackling, route-one footballing side, whereas Arsenal have always struggled to shake off their lightweight reputation since the turn of the millennium.
Owen may be correct in his claim that the Gunners have a strong record against Mark Hughes’ team in the last five meetings, but it’s worth noting that Arsène Wenger’s side have only won twice in their last eight trips to the Britannia. The north London side will need to be at their best to triumph over the Potters, who will be sure to live up to their gritty reputation in this game.