Stoke v Arsenal – a passing comparison
Stoke against Arsenal offers the most blatant difference in playing styles you will encounter in any major European league game. Stoke are the scrappy long-ball team who rely on set-pieces, Arsenal play a short, quick, neat passing game.
That is not to say that one style is necessarily more effective than another. In the previous two encounters at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke (deservedly) ran out winners, as Arsenal struggled to come with the physical game of Stoke, whereas Arsenal have won the two games at the Emirates.
Pointing out the differences in style between the two sides is hardly an original point, but it is astonishing to look at the differences in passing when the two teams are laid side by side.
Firstly, the overall passing patterns of the two teams. Stoke completed 116 passes, Arsenal completed 340. (These chalkboards are clearer if you click on ‘hide numbers’ at the bottom of each).
Here, Stoke’s left-winger (Danny Pugh) is compared to Arsenal’s left-wing (Samir Nasri). Whilst Pugh completed just 5 out of 15 attempted passes, Nasri’s record was 37 out of 39.
Lastly, a comparison of Stoke’s holding midfielder (Abdoulaye Faye) and Arsenal’s holding midfielder (Alex Song).Stoke v Arsenal – a passing comparison