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Somewhat strangely, Arsenal and Stoke City have become fierce Premier League rivals.
Their clash of cultures, plus an unpleasant incident involving Ryan Shawcross and Aaron Ramsey, which was followed by a bitter war of words, has created real tension between the two clubs.
Arsenal’s Premier League record away at Stoke is pretty poor. The Gunners have not won in their last five trips to the Britannia Stadium, losing three of those matches.
The truth is, Arsenal hate playing the Potters because Arsene Wenger’s side are weak – they need some Stoke-type players to toughen up the soft parts of their team if they are to challenge for the Premier League again.
To make that point, we have created a combined Arsenal and Stoke XI. It is the best possible team made up of players who are fit to start Sunday’s match at the Emirates Stadium.
GK: Asmir Begovic
Wenger seems unsure who Arsenal’s best goalkeeper is right now. However, there is no doubt who Stoke’s number one is. Begovic has been one of the Premier League’s finest stoppers for almost five years.
RB: Mathieu Debuchy
Debuchy’s start to his Arsenal career stuttered due to injury, but he is now back to full fitness and showing just why he started ahead of Bacary Sagna for France at this summer’s World Cup.
CB: Laurent Koscielny
Koscielny was another star member of France’s World Cup XI. He is a very classy defender, but he needs to play alongside a dominating centre-back.
CB: Ryan Shawcross
Showcross definitely qualifies as a dominating centre-back and the Stoke captain is much most reliable than Per Mertesacker, who just makes too many errors.
LB: Erik Pieters
It was a close run thing between Pieters and Kieran Gibbs, but the 17-time Netherlands international just sneaks in ahead of the Englishman.