Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

Arsenal trust in dynamic duo for Stoke test

09 December 2016, 13:24

London - Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will spearhead Arsenal's attack against Stoke City on Saturday as their ongoing contract talks continue to dominate the club's off-pitch agenda.

The decisive duo will both be out of contract in 2018 as things stand, prompting fears they could leave the club.

Arsene Wenger has vowed they will not be sold prior to the end of their contracts, but was unable to give fans any assurances about their futures at the Emirates Stadium.

"They have 18 months left on their contract and they are completely committed to do well as long as they are here," said the Frenchman, whose side trail Premier League leaders Chelsea by three points.

"Beyond that, we'll try to extend their contracts, but I cannot make that the subject in every press conference because it's a normal part of every renewal when you renegotiate.

"The less you talk about it, the better it is."

Sanchez, 27, and Ozil, 28, have been in sparkling form of late as Arsenal have climbed to second place in the league table and secured a place in the Champions League last 16 as group winners.

Wenger added: "These players have 18 months left. They will stay for 18 months and hopefully much longer.

"They've been hugely important. You can talk a lot, but the most important thing is what they do on the pitch.

"Their commitment is absolutely total. The first quality of a professional guy is to give 100 percent. It's here and now, that's what it means to be professional."

Also read: Perez hat-trick propels Gunners to first place

Arsenal v Stoke has been regarded as a hostile fixture ever since Potters captain Ryan Shawcross broke the leg of Aaron Ramsey in 2010.

Wenger appeared to upset opposite number Mark Hughes when he described his side's 0-0 draw at Stoke in January as "an old-fashioned Stoke battle".

- Shaqiri feels 'more free' -

Addressing the Welshman's reservations, which concerned Wenger's comments about the physical nature of the game, the Arsenal manager said on Thursday: "What is wrong with an old-fashioned battle?

"When you have complete commitment, that makes the English Premier League special. In my mind it was not negative at all."

Stoke head for north London in excellent form, having lost just once in their last nine games following a poor start to the season.

They have maintained their momentum despite a change in formation that has consigned close-season signing Joe Allen, their stand-out player of the season's early weeks, to a place on the bench.

The Wales midfielder has paid a heavy price for being suspended, which moved Hughes to devise a 3-4-3 system in which Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic have licence to roam alongside centre-forward Jonathan Walters.

"You're more free," said Switzerland international Shaqiri of the new set-up. "You can stay more in the middle and you can go outside. I like it.

"I think at the moment the whole team is playing well and when you're performing well and picking up results, you don't need to change the system.

"When you have more freedom, you can change positions and I can link up with Marko. Also defensively we have a very compact team and that's very important."

Stoke have a dismal record at the Emirates Stadium, having lost all eight of their games there since winning promotion in 2008, but they will not lack confidence to take on Wenger's title-chasing side.

"We are in a very good way to have a good season and we have to keep our run going," Shaqiri said.

"This weekend we have a difficult game in London against Arsenal, but we go there to achieve something and we know the quality to win every game. We go there trying to take three points, of course."

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

- AFP

NEXT ON NEWS24 NIGERIAX
&nbps;

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Separating kitchen politics from ...

Like everyone else, I believe that the most popular definition of democracy is “government of the people, by the people and for the people”. Read more...

Submitted by
Bethel Tanifo
Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, ...

Like NDDC Unlike MONDA. This notion is an intuition that does not portend political participation, affiliation, intrusion or aggression but a submission with the intention of completion of the previous administration's noble vision. Read more...

Submitted by
Bethel Tanifo
Nigerian Constitution versus Corr...

The problems of Nigeria is not in its conventional composition, formation, functionality, constitution or treaty, while the solutions are not disintegrations as promulgated by some faiths fanatics and bigotries.  Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Much Ado about Trump’s Presidency

It was unbelievable when the social and mainstream media all over the world began airing the breaking news of Donald Trump’s victory in the most contentious US Presidential elections in recent years. Read more...

Submitted by
Mike Daemon
Nigerian author highlights gay ch...

A new novel by a prolific young Nigerian author features gay characters, which could help increase the visibility of the gay community and possibly lead to greater understanding of LGBT Nigerians. Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Your Excellency, I will call you ...

Your Excellency, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, as a leader that pays attention to details, I understand that the odd title of this piece would definitely arouse your curiosity.  Read more...