Arsenal vs. Stoke City
English Premier League
Saturday, September 12, 2015
7AM PT/10AM ET/3PM BT (aka "when games should always be played")
Emirates Stadium, London
Form: ARS a half inflated helium balloon still attached to the tank and getting filled | STK that same balloon, six weeks later
US TV: USA Network | Worldwide TV: livesoccer.tv
After what seemed to be an interminably long break for international fun and games, the Premier League is back this weekend with a full slate of games, including Arsenal vs. Stoke.
Stoke have gotten off to a very Stoke start to the season - winless in four, they lost their last match to West Brom and had two players sent off while they did it. The worst bit for them, and the best bit for Arsenal, is that those two players were both attackers - Ibrahim Affelay was sent off for slapping Craig Gardner, and transfer window darling Charlie Adam was sent off for stomping on Craig Dawson's thigh as Dawson lay on the ground. A Scotsman sent off for violent behavior. Who'd have thought?
Arsenal, meanwhile, had no one sent off in their last match, and Arsenal's players came through the international break with no new injuries. Wilshere, of course, is newly unavailable, but Per Mertesacker is back in training and good to go, as is Laurent Koscielny.
The transfer window's shut, and Arsenal are who they are until at least January. Time to see if who they are is good enough to mount a title challenge. Three home points against Stoke is a great way to kickstart that challenge.