By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger hopes Per Mertesacker can beat Stoke at their own game on Sunday by scoring from a set-piece.

The Germany international has yet to find the net in an Arsenal shirt since his arrival from Werder Bremen in the summer but his reputation is growing all the time at Emirates Stadium.

Stoke have become notoriously tough customers from set-pieces under Tony Pulis - but Wenger says Mertesacker could be key at both ends for his team.

“I expect some goals on set-pieces from Per because even in Marseille we had nine corners and they had one,” he said. “Out of nine corners away from home you expect to be a bit more dangerous.

“I brought him here for more than this type of game [Stoke] because I feel he is a good player. He is a good organiser, he understands the game, he is an intelligent player and physically he is getting sharper and sharper in every game.

“He had no real preparation for the season and now you can see that we look less nervous at the back and he contributes to that.”

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21 Oct 2011