Sports Mole brings you live coverage as Arsene Wenger takes his Arsenal side to visit Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
By Liam Apicella, Features Editor Filed: Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 13:01 UK
Last Updated: Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 16:08 UK
Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of Arsenal's trip to Stoke City.
It would be fair to say that the Britannia Stadium has not been the happiest of hunting grounds for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal in recent seasons.
Having drawn the opening game of the season 0-0 with Sunderland, it will be important for Wenger's side to pick up a positive result against the Potters.
3.23pmAnd that is about all we have time for here. Stay tuned with Sports Mole though as our live commentary of Liverpool vs. Manchester City at Anfield will soon be underway. Thanks for joining us and enjoy the second Premier League offering of the day.
83 minRamsey's introduction brings a chorus of jeers from the Stoke supporters. That goes back to when he had his leg broken in challenge with Stoke's Ryan Shawcross. Quite how that means he is the bad guy is beyond me! Very poor from the home faithful.
81 minSubstitution: Wilson Palacios takes the place of Glenn Whelan for Stoke, while Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey comes on in the place of Cazorla.
80 minThat change seems slightly negative from Pulis. Crouch has a good record against Arsenal, while Shotton is not known for his goalscoring exploits.
78 minSubstitution: Pulis reacts to Arsenal's domination by making a change. Crouch comes off to be replaced by Ryan Shotton.
74 minChance! Another really good chance for the Gunners. Stoke fail to clear Carl Jenkinson's cross and the ball falls to Abou Diaby. However, the midfielder hesitates and is crowded out.
73 minChance! Arteta should have scored. Giroud gives him the ball on the edge of the box. He takes an instant shot, which only troubles the Arsenal fans behind the goal.
71 minSubstitution: Double change for Arsenal. Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain replace Gervinho and Podolski.
70 minChance! And at last they create something from one of them! Giroud moves out to the edge of the box, but his acrobatic effort bounces over the bar.
69 minMeanwhile, Arsenal have yet another corner...
68 minChance! A deep cross from Wilkinson finds Crouch, but the Stoke striker is stretching and the ball goes behind the goal.
66 minAnd Jerome is straight into the action. He wriggles free of his marker, but scuffs his shot wide of the goal.
65 minSubstitution: Cameron Jerome takes the place of Pennant for Stoke.
64 min...But Arteta smashes his effort straight into the Stoke wall. That must have hurt!
63 minIt could prove costly as Arsenal now have a direct free-kick on the edge of the area...
63 minBooking! Fully deserved yellow card for Wilkinson, who goes straight through the back of Podolski. Needless!
62 minIt's a better delivery, but the same old outcome as Stoke clear with minimal fuss.
61 minCorner to Arsenal following a well worked move. Cazorla to take...
58 minPenalty claim! Jermaine Pennant goes down under a challenge from Gibbs but referee Lee Mason is not interested. The Arsenal defender certainly took a chance there, but you have to say Pennant hit the deck easily.
56 minJust like in the first half it is neat and tidy from Arsenal. But the final ball has left a lot to be desired at the times. Perhaps a change or two is needed. Theo Walcott or the Ox maybe?!
52 min...which is easily cleared by Stoke. Have to say, having watched a lot of Premier League football this weekend, the standard of set-pieces has been poor.
50 minChance! Dear oh dear Mr Gervinho. He showed great control to free himself inside the area, only to drag his low effort closer to the corner flag than the goal.
48 minThere were no changes made by either manager at the break. Stoke boss Pulis may end up throwing on an attacking midfielder at some stage. So many loose balls in the final third have fallen to an Arsenal shirt without a Stoke player in sight.
2.31pmThe players are filtering back onto the pitch. Arsenal will be looking to turn their domination into goals during the next 45 minutes.
2.20pmHere's what BBC Sport's Jonathan Pearce has had to say: "Arsenal have bossed the game in terms of possession but chances have been few and far between and they cannot find the back of the net without Robin van Persie." Sums it up nicely to be honest.
2.17pmThose two corners come to nothing and the half ends 0-0. It's not been the greatest game in truth. Arsenal have looked the more likely to score, with the busy Cazorla looking sharp. Stoke will need to keep the ball better if they are going to get anything from this.
45 min...Cazorla takes and he will have another to whip in as Shawcross clears behind the goal...
45 minCorner to Arsenal as we enter one minute of stoppage time...
42 minHaving said that, Stoke are ending the half well. Crouch is beginning to cause the Arsenal rearguard some problems.
39 minAfter a manic ten minutes or so, the tempo has slumped somewhat. Arsenal still look the more likely of the two sides to break the deadlock.
36 minCazorla reminds me of the kid in the playground that likes to do everything. Free-kicks, corners, shots - he wants to do it all! He'll probably take goal-kicks at some stage!
35 minCazorla took the corner, which was abruptly ended by a foul against Begovic.
34 minChance! Cazorla is involved in everything at the moment. His swerving effort from distance is palmed away for corner by Begovic.
32 minArteta took the kick and found Cazorla to his left. The latter shoots, but his effort is dragged well wide of the target.
31 minFree-kick to Arsenal wide on the right as Marc Wilson goes in late on Cazorla. The defender is lucky to escape a booking there.
29 minChance! Walters breaks free for Stoke, before cutting the ball back to Michael Kightly on the edge of the area. His shot his powerful, but it is well held by Mannone in the away goal. Better from Stoke.
27 minFirst attack of note for a while from Stoke ends with Wilkinson sending the ball into the hands of Mannone. They're are struggling to impose themselves on the game at the moment.
25 minChance! Another sight of goal for Arsenal. This time Podolski has the attempt from 20 yards, which sails over the bar. By his standards it was a poor effort by the German striker.
24 minHave to say, Arsenal are beginning to find their rhythm now. The passes are starting stick and chances are being created.
22 minChance! Another opportunity for the Gunners. Podolski finds Cazorla on the edge of the area, but the attacker's effort is deflected and Asmir Begovic in the home goal collects comfortably.
20 minChance! Good opening for Arsenal ends with full-back Kieron Gibbs lifting in a cross which is just too high for Gervinho. Any lower and the Ivory Coast international would surely have nodded that into the net.
19 minEverything Stoke are doing is over-hit at the moment. They've obviously been instructed to get the ball up to Crouch and Walters in attack, but so far the ball has ran through to Mannone.
16 min...And he does, twice! The first hits the wall before his follow up effort trickles wide of the post. A period of play that he will not look back on with pride!
15 minPodolski wins a free-kick on the edge of the area following a foul by Robert Huth, who is booked. Carzola looks like he wants to hit this...
13 minWe've just seen a contender for worst pass of the season! Walters receives the ball on the halfway line, before inexplicably sending the ball out of play for an Arsenal throw. Madness!
11 minCarzola is beginning to pull the strings in the middle for Arsenal. Stoke will have to do something about the pint-sized Spanish international or he is likely to punish them.
8 minChance! Podolski looked certain to score for Arsenal from six yards out, but Andy Wilkinson throws himself in the way to block. The resultant corner comes to nothing.
6 minDisallowed goal! Jonathan Walters has the ball in the net following a knock down from Crouch. However, the Irish international is offside. Nevertheless, it's a warning for Arsenal.
5 minIt's all a bit scrappy at the moment. Arsenal are trying to get their passing game into motion, but as yet Stoke have held them at bay. A bit 'cat and mouse' as they say.
3 minSome tasty challenges already flying in from the Stoke players. Arsenal's Lukas Podolski was on the receiving end of one of them. It's fair to say the German international looked a little shocked!
2 minThe visitors have started the brighter of the two sides, but uncharacteristically Santi Carzola has been wasteful in possession so far.
1.30pmArsenal kick-off. Big 90 minutes ahead for the Gunners.
1.29pmHandshakes done, the game is just moments away...
1.26pmHere come the players. The home faithful, many of them wearing Arsene Wenger masks for some reason, are making a lot of noise.
1.25pmWith just minutes to go, why not have a read of our preview, courtesy of Danielle Joynson. She's tipped Arsenal to win this 2-1. Bold prediction! I'm going 1-1.
1.21pmFrom an Arsenal point of view it will be interesting to see how the partnership of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud is blossoming following the departure of Robin van Persie to Manchester United. Frenchman Giroud missed a really good chance against Sunderland last weekend. The Gunners will be hoping he is more clinical today.
1.17pmOne Stoke player that should fancy his chances today is Peter Crouch. The centre-forward has netted seven Premier League goals against the Gunners, including two last season.
1.15pmIt will be interesting to see whether Stoke specifically target Mannone, particularly during the opening exchanges. The rookie goalkeeper will not be used to coming up against the likes of the Potters.
1.12pmAnd Stoke go with this: Begovic; Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Pennant, Cameron, Whelan, Kightly; Walters, Crouch
1.11pmHere is how Arsenal will start: Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Diaby, Cazorla, Gervinho; Podolski, Giroud
1.08pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is forced to sit out this encounter with an injury. Vito Mannone has taken his place between the sticks.
1.06pmHowever, it would be fair to say that there is no distinct contrast in styles. There is the direct approach of Tony Pulis's Stoke up against the easy-on-the-eye football of Arsenal. Who will run out the winner?
1.02pmAfternoon one and all. It looks like we have a decent game in store at the Britannia Stadium.