Although Arsenal have won their last five home games and cemented their newly-found confidence with the away win at Marseille on Wednesday there is always a worry when Arsenal come up against Tony Pulis’ big Stoke City team.
One good omen for Wenger is that Stoke also played in Europe yesterday, and after their two previous games in the Europa League, Stoke have immediately been beaten in the following Premier League matches.
“It’s hard to play in the Premier League after European games,” Wenger said. “but let’s hope they suffer a little bit!”
“It’s very important for us to play to our strengths and not hope that Stoke are weaker because they have played in Europe. We are expecting a good opponent and for us to continue to focus.
“I feel the team has a good basis because the players are intelligent, they have a desire to do well and you can see the unity in the group is there. We have good ingredients but let’s continue to be humble and have the desire to grow as a team.”
Another omen is the interesting fact that Stoke have not won at Arsenal for 30 years, but Wenger is not interested in history leassons, he just wants to concentrate on winning right now.
“Are they a different side away?” He continued. “It depends – the seasons before maybe, this season I don’t know.
“It doesn’t matter for us, what is important is to win our game. A 1-0 victory against Stoke would be great so let’s just focus, use the confidence lift from Marseille and go into the Stoke game to keep our run going.”
Another little step up the table looks on the cards, but let’s not count our chickens just yet….