As weeks in Football go the past 7 days for Arsenal couldn’t have gone much better. They’ve moved from 4th to 2nd in the Premier League while also managing to top their Champions League group which should in theory give them a favourable draw for the Round of 16.
Last Saturday evening saw a demolition job of cross town rivals West Ham with The Gunners running out 5-1 winners at the London Stadium. It may have taken them a while to wrap up the victory but once they did they never looked back and one man in particular was in simply unstoppable form.
Alexis Sanchez simply ran riot in East London last week, the Chilean international was on hand to set up Mesut Ozil for Arsenal’s opener but it was the second half where Sanchez made his mark. With West Ham on the ropes he delivered a knockout blow in the form of a sensational second half hat-trick to earn all the plaudits from an impressive win on the road.
And that would be the case again in midweek when they eased past Basle on their way to a 4-1 victory. Going into the game many would have felt that topping the group would have been a lost cause but Arsene Wenger’s men still had to do their bit in the hope that the unthinkable could happen in Paris.
Well it was Arsenal’s lucky night as PSG were held to do a surprising draw at home to Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets to throw away the Group A top spot as they had to make do with a runners up place. With Arsenal flying high as of late they will look to continue that momentum with the visit of Stoke this afternoon.
Stoke are on a good run of form as of late, so much so that they are now in the top half of the table after just 1 defeat in their last 5. That run has also produced successive victories and they now sit comfortably in 9th place with their shaky start to the campaign long since forgotten.
Last Saturday they made easy work of Burnley at the Bet365 Stadium to run out 2-0 winners. That afternoon saw John Walters open the scoring with a sumptuous flick past Paul Robinson while Marc Muniesa was on hand to wrap up the points soon after with his first goal for the club.
It’s fair to say that the fixture computer has been kind to Stoke as of late but those run of games has allowed Mark Hughes men to restore confidence to a side that was leaking goals left, right and centre in the opening few weeks of the season.
They will have a real test on their hands today if they are to keeps the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez quiet at The Emirates this afternoon. What will also be a massive boost to Arsene Wenger is the fact that Lucas Perez scored a hat-trick in midweek and with his confidence now sky high that gives Wenger another option in terms of attacking personnel.
Both sides are in good form but Arsenal are almost unstoppable as of late, bar the EFL Cup defeat to Southampton were a much changed Gunners side were dumped out of the competition no-one has really come close to troubling them and I can’t see their being a trouble today as Arsenal will run out comfortable home winners. Arsenal to win and go top of the table for at least 24 hours.