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Tuesday 20 November 2018

Lambert hopes to bring Emirates luck to Stoke

Arsenal visit: Paul Lambert
Arsenal visit: Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert is hoping his own experience of winning at the Emirates Stadium can help Stoke end their miserable away run against Arsenal.

The Potters' hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League are looking increasingly bleak and history is not on their side for Sunday's fixture.

Stoke last won at Arsenal in 1981 and have lost on all 15 visits since, including the nine times they have played at the Emirates.

But Lambert can look back to a winning trip with Aston Villa on the first day of the 2013/14 season and will head to north London confident of causing an upset.

He said: "It's a really tough place to go. I've been fortunate I've won there - I know what it's like to win there, I know what it's like to lose there, I know what it's like to draw there.

"This is new, I'm only new to the football club so what happened in the past is not an interest to me really.

"We'll make it a really hard game, we'll go and try and win, like I've always done, and it won't change. We have to find a way to hurt them and that's what we'll work on when we get the rest of the lads back from their national teams." Lambert had a positive impact after replacing Mark Hughes, winning his first game in charge against Huddersfield, but Stoke have not won any of the seven matches since and sit three points adrift of safety.

Plenty

Draws with Brighton, Leicester and Southampton were followed by defeats against Manchester City and Everton, but Lambert has seen plenty of reasons to feel positive.

"As long as you keep fighting you've always got a chance, and that's what you do, you keep fighting for everything," he said. "Obviously it's a concern, nobody wants to be in that position, but we should have had more points, we've not had any luck.

"Individual errors have cost us in certain games but the performance levels of the team, I couldn't ask for any more from them. I know what I want to achieve and we're still well in this fight."

Lambert will definitely be without midfielder Charlie Adam, who begins a three-match ban following his dismissal against Everton, and forward Eric Choupo-Moting, who is set to be sidelined for several weeks by a groin injury.

Mame Biram Diouf should return after shoulder problems while Erik Pieters is back in the squad having been left out against Everton and fined two weeks' wages for breaking a curfew the night before the match.

Lambert is hopeful all his international players will be available, saying: "None of them played at the weekend really and I think most of them played last night, which doesn't help our cause.

"Some had long journeys, some are not back and they'll come back later on. But the word we've got at the moment, they're all okay."

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