Date: 13 May 2017 08:28
Having tightened up at the back in their mission to claim a top-four spot, Al Hain-Cole expects Arsene Wenger's men to ensure a low-scoring encounter
Arsenal will be hoping to continue their late surge for Champions League qualification when they travel to the Britannia Stadium to take on Stoke City on Saturday.
Victories over Manchester United and Southampton with the past week have lifted the Gunners to within three points of fourth-placed Manchester City, and they are 4/6 (1.67) favourites with Betfair Sportsbook to maintain the pressure by coming out on top yet again here.
Mark Hughes’ men have won just one of their last nine fixtures but are on offer at 4/1 (5.00) to give their fans something to cheer about by emerging victorious in their final home game of the season.
None of the guests’ last eight league away games have resulted in draws, but you can get odds of 16/5 (4.20) on them being forced to settle for a single point in this one.
Considering his track record of inspiring strong finishes to Premier League seasons, it should perhaps come as no surprise to see Arsene Wenger’s men mounting a top four challenge that seemed out of the question a few weeks ago.
Nevertheless, the manner in which the Frenchman has orchestrated the recent turnaround has rightly raised a few eyebrows, with this uncharacteristic switch to a more defensively sound formation seemingly paying off.
Having lost five times and kept just two clean sheets in eight league matches prior to changing to three at the back, the North London outfit have won four of the five since then and conceded just three goals in the process.
With just seven goals to their name in that run themselves, it appears that an unusually pragmatic Arsenal are therefore looking to merely grind out the results they need in order to squeeze back into the top four.
With this in mind, odds of 29/20 (2.45) seem generous on under 2.5 goals being scored for their fourth consecutive game against Stoke, who have found the net just 12 times in 14 matches but conceded only 12 in the last 16 home league fixtures.
Under 2.5 goals for a 1.5pt stake at 29/20 (2.45) with Betfair Sportsbook