Last Updated: 28/04/12 4:52pm
A rash challenge from Whitehead goes unpunished and Wenger is not happy on the touchline. Arsenal win a late corner but Shawcross heads it away.
Crouch very nearly gets to it but Szczesny does enough to keep it out before Sagna hoofs it away. Walters comes close seconds later but the Gunners defence hold firm.
Four minutes stoppage time are added at the end of this second half. Stoke win a long throw on the right and Delap steps up.
Vermaelen drives his effort through the wall but drags it just wide of the post without testing Begovic.
Arsenal win another free-kick from 25 yards out and it looks like Van Persie will be taking it, although Vermaelen is loitering...
Jerome is called up for a foul as Arsenal are handed a free-kick in midfield, which Santos takes quickly.
Sagna comes out of nowhere with a long-range shot, which takes a deflection before bouncing into Begovic's arms.
A flowing move nearly comes off as Chamakh backheels towards Santos but the sub leaves the ball behind him.
Delap gets his first touch but loses out to Chamakh, then Van Persie after reclaiming it. Song fires a ball towards the box but Walters clears with an overhead kick.
Huth finds Jerome with a pinpoint ball down the middle but his powerful shot is parried by Szczesny.
It's Stoke's turn for a free-kick after Diaby charges in with his foot raised on Cameron Jerome. Walters climbs to win a long ball but nods it straight into Szczesny's gloves.
Gibbs tries to chase down a Benayoun ball from the left as Arsenal push in these late stages but he's closed down.
Stoke win a long free-kick which is nodded on by Crouch, but Vermaelen gets it away with a headed clearance.
Arsenal win two corners in quick succession, still aggrieved over that denied penalty. Van Persie whips in the second but it's easily dealt with by Crouch.
Rosicky does well to put Ramsey clear but the midfielder drags his shot wide. A replay of that Vermaelen shot shows Shawcross appeared to handle the ball and the Gunners were unlucky not to be given another free-kick.
Van Persie fires his powerful shot straight into the Stoke wall and it falls to Vermaelen, who tries his luck but slams his equally stinging shot into Shawcross.
Vermaelen goes down on the edge of the Stoke box off a Whelan challenge and it's an Arsenal free-kick.
The Gunners man is taking a battering this afternoon but he shrugs it off. Etherington charges down the left with Crouch in a good position but he fluffs his cross.
Pennant's corner can't reach Walters, covered well by the Gunners' backline. Koscielny is in another collision, this time with Szczesny.
Some sloppy stuff from Gervinho this afternoon - it might be time for Oxlade-Chamberlain to make an appearance soon.
Some more building passing play from Arsenal culminates in a cross from Song from the right but Gervinho is slow to react.
Gibbs attempts a shot from just inside the box after a slip from Whitehead but it's blocked by the Potters defence.
Arsenal exchange passes, pressing for a way forward in midfield but Rosicky loses the ball down the left.
Whitehead finds some space for Stoke and tries to slip through Walters towards goal, but there's too much pace on his pass.
Crouch gets to his feet and appears to be fine after that collision as play resumes with a Szczesny kick.
A clash of heads between Crouch and Koscielny sees the Stoke man on the ground needing treatment and there's a lull in play.
Rosicky tries to slot the ball through to Van Persie but Whitehead makes an interception and breaks for Stoke. Arsenal reclaim the ball and Benayoun sneaks into the box but Shawcross closes him down with a well-timed challenge.
Vermalen, fed by Rosicky, tries to plant a cross in the box from the left but blasts his effort well off target.
Shotton launches in another throw but the wind catches it and it goes straight behind and back to Szczesny for an Arsenal goal-kick.
It's Arsenal's turn for a throw inside their own half and Gibbs tries to feed the ball back to Szczesny, who has to move fast to snatch it away from Walters.
Stoke win a throw on the left of the Arsenal goal, which Shotton steps up to take. Song makes the crucial clearance, hoofing it up field.
Sagna lifts a cross into the box after some intricate play from Arsenal but Van Persie's header goes straight into the arms of Begovic.
It's Stoke's turn to get forward and Szczesny is forced to punch away two crosses, from Etherington and Pennant, in quick succession.
Benayoun finds Van Persie on the edge of the box but the skipper's shot is blocked by Wilson. The ball drops to Gervinho but he panics and fires it into the stands.
Arsenal get us started this half but Stoke reclaim possession in midfield and the ball goes back to Begovic. Pennant fires a cross in but Walters can't quite latch onto it.
David Tinsley has been back in touch to say - "Spoke before the match about being nervous, and I still am, although I think there are still goals to come so I'll revise it to a 2-2 draw. Arsenal are playing better than they have the last few games and good to see RvP back on the scoresheet. Rosicky is playing with such energy, it's great to see, but the player I'm loving at the moment is Ramsey - he's had his critics, but to be playing so well when the home fans are booing him (what for? Hurting Shawcross' foot when it broke through his ankle?) is great to see. Hopeful my prediction is wrong and we can snatch a win, with the Toon getting battered this could really be a big leap toward securing 3rd."
David Jablonka thinks it's time for Chamberlain to make an appearance - "This wasalways going to be a tough match (and an important one with newcastle nipping at our heels), Stoke at their best are a solid team, not to mention we have suffered a lot of injuries to Stoke in the past which i reckon might have a mental effect on the squad. I still think Arsenal will clinch this (2-1) but we need to raise our game another level, maybe Arsene should think of bringing on the OX! COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!!!"
@jamjam2277 said - "glad to see Newcastle getting thumped, makes the current score in the Arsenal game much sweeter!!"
@Jon24Gooner tweeted - "looking at score with newcastle arsenal could cement 3rd place cmon u gunners rvp for 3 today."
While the first half has been going on, Arsenal's Champions League rivals Newcastle have fallen 4-0 behind at Wigan!
Got something to say on that half? Get in touch on Twitter @SkySportsRachG or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The whistle blows for half-time and it's all level at the Britannia after Van Persie cancelled out Peter Crouch's opener.
Huth tries a shot from distance but his low effort trickles well wide of the post as half-time approaches.
Better delivery this time and the Potters win a corner, but Szczesny just manages to punch the effort clear.
Another kick from distance for Stoke and Pennant steps up again. There'll be hoping for a bit more quality this time...
Rosicky tries to a drift a ball into the box, looking for Van Persie, but Begovic charges out to collect with an easy catch.
The hosts win a free-kick in the middle of the park after a foul from Rosicky but the long effort is won by Van Persie.
Pennant's effort is poor and rolls straight back to Song as a chance goes begging for the hosts. Tony Pulis isn't happy.
Stoke are awarded a free-kick from distance on the right after a push by Benayoun, which Pennant steps up to take.
Didn't look like any malice in the clash and both players are ok. Back on the ball, Van Persie tries to feed Benayoun in the box but his pass is blocked.
Whelan pokes a ball through for Walters, who charges towards goal, but his momentum carries him straight into a collision with Szczesny.
The Gunners effectively deal with the set-piece. Just 10 minutes of regular time to go this half and it's all-square.
Stoke win a throw on the right of the Arsenal goal and Shotton steps up to take it, with Delap on the bench.
The ball goes back to Begovic for a goal-kick after Gibbs fails to wriggle away from Pennant in the Stoke box.
Gervinho holds off Shotton in the box, edging forward, but the Stoke man eventually manages to close him down.
Gibbs attempts to deliver a cross into the Stoke box from the left but he's charged down by Pennant. Arsenal throw.
Whelan gets away from Ramsey as he storms towards the Arsenal goal but he can't find the pass and it rolls back to Szczesny.
Crouch is bundled over by Song in midfield and Stoke win a free-kick. Shawcross' effort is a long one, meant for Crouch, but he can't quite get his head to it in the box.
Song feeds Van Persie, who trickles the ball towards goal, finding Gibbs, but Huth is there with the crucial clearance.
Stoke enjoy some possession before Shotton floats a long diagonal ball towards Crouch but the striker is a yard or so offside.
Rosicky fires a long ball into the area and Van Persie tries to chase it down but Begovic stoops to snatch it to safety.
Shotton knocks the ball out for another Arsenal throw and the visitors trade passes just inside the Stoke half.
Two missed chances now for Gervinho - will it be third-time lucky? The ball goes out for a Gunners throw in midfield.
Gervinho chases down a long ball and gets away from Wilson but fluffs his lines from close range, under pressure from the Potters defence.
The skipper sweeps it in and Koscielny rises to meet it but can't keep his header on target as Stoke breathe a sigh of relief.
Wasted chance there for Gervinho, was a great ball in from Sagna. Arsenal win a free-kick from far out, with Rosicky and Van Persie both having a look.
Van Persie picks out Sagna down the right and the defender storms forward, trying to find Gervinho with a long cross, but he can't quite latch onto it in the box.
A long ball upfield is dealt with by Wilson to dissolve an Arsenal attack and Stoke win a throw inside their own half.
So Arsenal are back on level ground after an intense opening few minutes. Gervinho tries a charge down the right and the ball is knocked out for a Gunners throw.
The Gunners skipper teams up with Rosicky once again, this time poking a pinpoint cross home with ease for his 28th Premier League goal of the season.
The Gunners are back in possession in their own half, trying to mount an attack from deep, with Vermaelen on the ball.
Arsenal are still pushing for an equaliser as they build their trademark passing game in the Stoke half. Ramsey unleashes a long-range shot but drags it wide.
Walters loses concentration to let Song slip by in the box but atones by forcing the Cameroonian to put the ball behind. Stoke goal-kick.
Not the position the Gunners want to be in early on! They look for an instant response, winning a corner on the left.
Crouch climbs above the Gunners backline and makes no mistake nodding Etherington's cross down, past Szczesny and into the net.
Brilliant save from Begovic! Van Persie nearly opens the scoring for Arsenal after latching onto a great long ball from Rosicky but the keeper palms his close-range header away.
Benayoun skips easily away from Whitehead on a strong run but is closed down on the edge of the box by the Potters defence.
Benayoun and Van Persie combine brilliantly to get forward for the Gunners but it's a weak finish from the former in the end and Begovic is able to save.
Pennant lofts the ball in, looking for Crouch, but the lofty striker is offside and his headed effort is wide anyway.
Now it's Stoke's turn for a free-kick in midfield after Whitehead is brought down. Very physical stuff already here.
A dubious challenge on Song by Whitehead earns the Stoke man a yellow card. The ref could have his hands full today.
There's a problem with Ramsey, who gets caught by Sagna in the throat, but he appears to be ok after a brief lull in play.
Whitehead fires the ball into the box after doing well to win it but Vermaelen is there with a headed clearance.
We're underway at the Britannia and it's the hosts that get things rolling but Arsenal snatch possession.
Worth noting Stoke have won just one of their last seven games but are still in contention to clinch a top-10 finish.
The teams are out at the Britannia and it's almost time for kick-off. Thanks for all your feedback guys, keep it coming at HT.
David Tinsley feels Gunners fans might have to settle for a draw - "As a Gooner I have to say I'm incredibly nervous about this one, we seem to be limping coming toward the end of the season and with both Walcott and Arteta out, I can't see where the creative outlet is going to come from. RvP seems tired (I'm not surprised as he's carried us up the table) and so we may have to rely on our in-form scorer... Vermaelen! It's vital we win to have a chance at 3rd, but we seem to struggle at the Brittannia so I think it'll end up 1-1, unfortunately."
Arsenal will edge it today, according to Ricardo - "With Arsenal needing a win today, i'm a bit suprised to see the Ox on the bench again allthough Benayoun has been impressive recently and was missed against chelsea. This said, i think the Gunners will win 2-1 with Rvp and Yossi Benayoun scoring, it will be tough though, but a win today will 99 % secure us 4th place."
@Jayforeman92 has an issue with Wenger's line-up - "week in week out Ramsey starts over the Ox, Jees!"
Max Power has warned the Arsenal fans not to get too cocky - "these positive gunners are having a laugh, 2-0 stoke crouch and jerome when he comes on. hate to see walters starting, he needs a rest. As for arsenal ok good starting XL but the only quality on their bench is chamberlain and he is ony half decent!"
@Bambisaur is ignoring the festivities in Southampton and concentrating on the Potters - "I'm a Stoke fan all the way down in Southampton, and I'm backing the Potters all the way today! City till I die!"
Around 20 minutes to go until KO - plenty of time to have your say! Tweet me @SkySportsRachG or email email@example.com.
@Tstoakes is surprised to see The Ox on the bench. He tweeted - "dont see why chamberlain aint started!"
But Anne Lovely thinks the Gunners will breeze past them - "I'm pessimistic as Stoke are mentally already on their summer hols. If TP wants a top 10 finish he'd better get his boots on. An easy 3-1 for Arsenal today."
Edd Irwin wrote in from South Africa to say - "I see Tony Pulis is sending out his strongest side this afternoon. With all the hype about Arsenal not liking playing at the Britannia Stadium I'm going for a home win 2-1."
But they could find it tricky - the Gunners who have won just one of their four trips to the Britannia Stadium in all competitions since Stoke returned to the top flight.
Arsene Wenger's men are currently three points ahead of fourth-placed Toon and will be keen to maintain that gap.
The Gunners will be looking to cement third place today but have suffered two successive disappointments, with Newcastle hanging on their coattails.
@Arshavin161 thinks Robin van Persie is due a return to his scoring form. He tweeted - "arsenal 3-0 Van Persie hatrick."
Arsenal XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Song, Ramsey, Gervinho, Rosicky, Benayoun, Van Persie.
Stoke XI: Begovic; Shotton, Shawcross (c), Huth, Wilson; Pennant, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington; Walters, Crouch.
Here's a quick update from Sky Bet - "The Gunners were in fantastic form until a defeat to Wigan and draw against Chelsea in recent weeks and are 5/6 to get a win at Stoke. The Potters have a good home league record against Arsenal and are 16/5 to win and 13/5 to draw."
I'll be bringing you the team line-ups in just a sec but first why not get in touch with your thoughts and predictions ahead of kick-off at 3? You can Tweet me @SkySportsRachG or email firstname.lastname@example.org.