Date: 5th December 2009 at 1:46am
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After losing three domestic matches on the bounce, the positive vibes that were bountiful around the Grove have vanished. Arsenal host Stoke today, in a game that is now a must win.

Manchester City host Chelsea in the evening kickoff, and if Chelsea knock off the Citizens at Eastlands, then fair play to them. But if not, we could close the gap at the top, with a game in hand.

Vital Quotes:

Emmanuel Eboue has given an apology for the recent results: ‘This week was very, very difficult for us because we lost two games, one against Chelsea and then Manchester City,’ Eboue said. ‘Now we try to forget those two games and try to win on Saturday against Stoke.

‘Personally I just want to say sorry to the fans for both games. It wasn’t easy for us but I promise we will give our best and show on Saturday that we can win because we know it will be good for the fans.

‘They buy tickets to support us and then we don’t win the games. We are sorry and we will try our best on Saturday.’

Arsenal Team News:

Well, surprise, surprise. Theo Walcott has suffered another injury. This time it’s his hamstring. Surely this is what kept him from playing midweek. In other news, Sagna has an ankle problem, but he should be fine for today. Also, Song is suspended.

Predicted Starting XI: Fabianski, Sagna, Vermaelen, Gallas, Traore, Nasri, Fabregas, Denilson, Arshavin, Rosicky, Eduardo

Player to watch: Lukasz Fabianski

I’m interested to see who starts in goal. If it wasn’t for an ill timed injury, I thought Fabianski would have already claimed the starting spot. After Almunia’s horror show against Chelsea, I hope the Pole keeps his spot.

Stoke City Team News:

Amdy Faye is Pulis’ only absentee due to injury, though Dean Whitehead will serve a one game suspension for yellow card accumulation.

Possible Starting XI: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Collins, Faye, Huth, Lawrence, Whelan, Diao, Etherington, Fuller, Beattie

Player to watch: James Beattie

Stoke hit the jackpot with Beattie. He scored in this fixture last season, however it was on his own goal. He’ll be looking to make up for that.

Ref Watch

Mark Clattenburg will be the head official today.

Match Prediction:

I think we’ll rebound from our poor run of form. If we can get an early goal, the flood gates might open just like last season.

Next Fixtures:

9/12 – Olympiakos (a) – Champions League

13/12 – Liverpool (a) – Premier League

16/12 Burnley (a) – Premier League