PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Stoke v Arsenal – the action from the Britannia Stadium
12:18 GMT, 26 August 2012
Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Stoke host Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium. Both sides are looking for their first win of the season after drawing their opening games against Reading and Sunderland respectively. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or via Twitter @JoeRidge87.
Stoke v Arsenal (k-o 1.30pm)
Stoke: Begovic; Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Pennant, Cameron, Whelan, Kightly; Walters, Crouch
Subs: Sorensen, Upson, Shotton, Delap, Palacios, Jones, Jerome.
Arsenal: Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Diaby; Gervinho, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud
Subs: Martinez, Djourou, Santos, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain Walcott.
1.15pm: Life after Robin van Persie began brightly for Arsenal last week as they played some confident, flowing football against Sunderland. But ultimately, they couldn't stick the ball in the back of the net. Today Giroud, who was guilty of spurning Arsenal's best chance at the Emirates that day, gets a go from the start. Expect Podolski and Gervinho to join the big Frenchman from out wide as Cazorla looks to dictate the tempo again. Abou Diaby is given the task of replacing Alex Song in the engine room this season, and he'll surely benefit from getting a full pre-season under his belt for the first time in a few years.
1.03pm: Tony Pulis and Arsene Wenger – never the best of friends – have resumed their war of words ahead of today's game.
'People talk about us being a dirty team, yet we haven’t had as many red cards or I haven’t had as many red cards as a manager as Arsene Wenger has had as a manager,' said Pulis.
'People always talk about me and Stoke City. Nobody ever talks about the situation with Wenger.
War of words: There is no love lost between Wenger (pictured) and Pulis
'There was a situation not so long ago when a lot of red cards were being dished out to Arsenal. Everybody seems to have forgotten about that.
'All we want is fairness and a balance. It is frustrating when you get labelled for this or that and people don’t look at the other side of the coin.'
And Wenger says he will not make a special point of briefing his new players on the more physical challenge that Stoke will pose today, even though Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla are new to the Premier League.
'It will give them a good image [of English football],' said Wenger. 'But usually they are quite well informed. We will focus on playing our game and we do not make too much of it. Stoke have fewer yellow cards than us, so we do not need to be briefed too much. We just have to play our game and Stoke play theirs.'
12.55pm: This is always a bit of a grudge match between these two sides after the horrific injury suffered by Aaron Ramsey at the hands – or foot – of Ryan Shawcross two-and-a-half years ago. Shawcross starts today for the home side while Ramsey is on the bench for Arsenal.
12.52pm: There are also two changes for Stoke – US international Geoff Cameron comes into the midfield in place of the suspended Dean Whitehead and Jermaine Pennant replaces Matthew Etherington.
12.45pm: The teams are in… Vito Mannone starts in goal for Arsenal with regular No 1 Wojciech Szczesny out injured. Young Argentinian 'keeper Damian Martinez is therefore on the bench. The only other change from Arsenal's opening day draw against Sunderland sees Olivier Giroud start ahead of Theo Walcott, who drops to the bench.
Impressive: Santi Cazorla caught the eye on his Arsenal debut