Mark Hughes and Stoke defender, Marc Muniesa, have been rallying the Potters’ home crowd ahead of their clash against Arsenal on Saturday.
- Hughes wants last home game to have positive result
- Encourages fans to get behind team
- Muniesa says it’s ‘good’ that Stoke fans don’t like Arsenal
The atmosphere at the Bet365 Stadium is always toxic when Arsenal visit.
Although the Stoke fans have never shied away from hurling abuse at their opposition, it certainly got worse for Arsenal after Ryan Shawcross broke Aaron Ramsey’s leg in 2010.
Since then, the hatred between the two sets of fans has only gotten worse, with Stoke fans insisting on booing Ramsey for no reason and Gooners understandably holding a grudge against Shawcross.
Hughes believes that their renowned home atmosphere will be crucial in the match on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a good atmosphere – it always is when Arsenal come to town,” Hughes told Stoke’s official website.
“Saturday is our last home game as well and we will want to end with a positive result and performance, so we need everybody behind us and hopefully cheer us to a victory.
“That support always helps, we know that and it’s important for us to play well in order to deserve any plaudits we get – that is certainly our intention.”
Meanwhile, Muniesa reckons that the Stoke fans’ hatred towards Arsenal is a good thing as far as they’re concerned.
“If Stoke fans don’t like Arsenal and they are loud then that’s good for us,” he said.
“I hope they encourage us to beat them, it’s important for us to have them behind us and give us confidence. We have only won one of the last nine games and that’s not good. A team like us, with the quality we have, cannot just win one from the last nine.
“We must do it. This season we have struggled to win this kind of game against the top teams and this is a big opportunity for us. It’s our last home game and we want our fans to be happy. The fans deserve a big result at home.”
Arsenal enter the clash needing to win if they’re to have any hope of finishing in the top four this season.
Stoke are down in 13th with nothing to really play for. However, I have no doubt that they would love to be the team that stops the Gunners from getting Champions League football next season.