In a few hours time, the Arsenal players will be walking out at the Britannia stadium and if rumours are to be believed, it will be without Mesut Özil which will be a massive blow offensively. If he is out injured I really hope it is very short term and nothing long lasting. It would be typical at a time where we can expect Alexis Sanchez to return to the squad today. We have been waiting to get them both on the pitch together.
However if we have lost Mesut for today then it could work to our advantage from a defensive perspective. The Flamini/Ramsey partnership has been under scrutiny for a number of weeks, we have not had the control we are used to and I am sure Arsène is looking to solve that problem with the introduction of Mohamed Elneny.
Perhaps Arsène would have wanted to have started our new signing on the bench today but it might be a case of needs must.
I must stress though, the Mesut Özil rumour is still just a rumour.
As mentioned above, we have Alexis back in the squad today which is massive news but I doubt he will start the match. Theo Walcott may well be given another chance to show his quality as he wasn't at his best in midweek.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up
Hopefully Mesut Özil is fit enough to start today, if so then we could start with the same 11 as we did on Wednesday, unless of course Arsène thinks Elneny is ready to replace Flamini straight away.
Elneny and Özil will be the first two names I will look out for when the team is announced.
Our record at Stoke is awful, haven't won in the last 5 meetings so that is not so encouraging but records are there to be broken.
As I mentioned on our last podcast the late draw at Anfield will feel so much better of we are able to win this game today. If we don't win today we will be kicking ourselves once more.
A lot has been made of their style change and how it could suit us better but I don't see it like that at all. They have better attacking players who are able to cause more problems. I would rather face more limited attacking players regardless of their style.
At least they do not have the Xherdan Shaqiri waddling around the pitch doing his funky stuff. We will have to be switched on regardless as the likes of Arnautovic, Bojan and Afellay will cause us plenty of issues today.
Come on Arsenal, let's get those three points.