Stoke vs Arsenal team news: Olivier Giroud replaces Danny Welbeck as Gunners start Hector Bellerin in place of Laurent Koscielny

Stoke name four strikers in the form of Bojan, Diouf, Walters and crouch in starting line-up

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The Independent Online

Arsenal will look to record their first win at Stoke in four years with Olivier Giroud back in the side following his mid-week exploits from the bench during Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Southampton.

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Giroud, who only returned from a broken leg late last month, replaces Danny Welbeck in one of three changes to the Gunners side that saw off the Saints. Laurent Koscielny is dropped to the bench alongside Welbeck having only just returned from an ankle injury himself.

As a result, Calum Chambers moves inside to centre-back and Hector Bellerin comes in on the right, while Kieran Gibbs returns at left-back in place of the absent Nacho Monreal.

The Gunners do welcome back Wojciech Szczesny to the bench though he is unlikely to play unless Martinez suffers injury or is sent-off, while youngsters Semi Ajayi and 17-year-old striker Ainsley Maitland-Niles are also among the substitutes.

 

Stoke are looking to halt a run of three straight defeats and have recalled Peter Crouch in a bid to get them back on track this season. The striker comes in for Stephen Ireland and joins Jon Walters, Bojan Krkic and Mame Biram Diouf in an attacking-minded line-up.

Arsenal.jpg
Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud

In defence, Marc Muniesa replaces Marc Wilson after the latter was ruled out through injury, while Marko Arnautovic is absent having been on the bench during Tuesday’s Premier League defeat to Manchester United.

Line-ups:

Stoke: Begovic, Bardsley, Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters, Nzonzi, Cameron, Diouf, Bojan, Walters, Crouch

Substitutes: Butland, Huth, Whelan, Ireland, Adam, Assaidi, Shenton

Arsenal: Martinez, Bellerin, Chambers, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Flamini, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Cazorla, Giroud

Substitutes: Szczesny, Koscielny, Ajayi, Maitland-Niles, Campbell, Podolski, Welbeck

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