By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger’s masterplan to counter Stoke’s direct style of play is simple - just don’t let Tony Pulis’ side have the ball.

Since their promotion to the Premier League in 2008, the Potters have enjoyed significant success from set-pieces and Rory Delap’s now infamous long throw.

Many of the top flight’s best defences, including Arsenal’s, have struggled to cope with the Irish international’s unique weapon. But Wenger knows that, as long as Arsenal have the ball, Stoke can’t cause a threat.
 
“What is important for us against Stoke is we [make sure] we have the ball,” said the manager. “The more we have the ball, the less they will be dangerous in the air.

“We will try to dominate the game, as long as we have the ball they cannot be dangerous.

“We know we are in a strong position in the Premier League, the players know that at home our results will have a vital importance on our chances of winning the Premier League. The focus will be natural, this team wants to win every single game.”

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Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 Feb 2011