Jenkinson ready for Stoke battle

PA Sport
Carl Jenkinson

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Carl Jenkinson

Carl Jenkinson maintains Arsenal are ready for whatever Stoke throw at them on Saturday as the Gunners aim to nail down third place in the Barclays Premier League.

Despite putting themselves back in the driving seat to qualify for the Champions League again next season, Arsenal still have some work ahead to make sure of third - which has suddenly taken on extra importance after Chelsea, who are currently sixth, reached the final of this season's competition.

The Gunners do not have the best record at the Britannia Stadium, with three defeats in their last four visits, but Jenkinson insists Arsene Wenger's men will stand up and be counted as he told Arsenal Player: "They are a big, strong and physical side, but we are prepared for that, know what is coming and just have to deal with it as best as we can."

He added: "I think it is fair to say that most teams struggle with the physical side that Stoke have. It is something we have to be aware of and it is no surprise anymore, everybody knows how Stoke play.

"Stoke away is never an easy place to go and we have to be prepared for the sort of game we know they are going to throw at us, but we are looking forward to going up there and getting a win."

Tomas Rosicky shrugged off a virus to play against Chelsea last weekend, and with injury to Mikel Arteta, the Czech midfielder is likely to be called into action again.

Wenger has pushed the 31-year-old into a more free attacking role recently, which has paid off.

Rosicky said: "I am in the advanced position of the three, looking to get in between the opposition's midfield and defence.

"When we have the ball I am starting quite close to Robin [van Persie] up front, and after that I can come a bit deeper and stretch the pitch out.

"I can't say for sure whether this has made the whole difference, but I would certainly agree that what the boss is asking [of me] at the moment suits me nicely."

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