‘We have to match Stoke’s aggression’

Tomas Rosicky says Arsenal must be prepared for a physical encounter at Stoke City on Saturday and match their opponents’ aggression.

The Gunners have not won any of their last three matches at the Britannia Stadium and face a side who have committed the most fouls in the Premier League.

Rosicky is expecting a major challenge from Mark Hughes’ side but is confident Arsenal have the quality to secure the three points.

"It's always very similar - they are a very physical side, very aggressive and it’s a very tough place to go"

Tomas Rosicky

“[I‘m expecting] a typical game when you go to Stoke. It's always very similar - they are a very physical side, very aggressive and it’s a very tough place to go,” he told Arsenal Player.

“All the away games are pretty similar so we need to be really well prepared [for a] physical and aggressive style of play. We need to match them in those attributes and, if we do that, we can be successful.

“For me, [the crowd at the Britannia] doesn't matter at all. The atmosphere in the stadiums here in England is great anywhere you go, so that side doesn't bother me at all.

“What I'm thinking about is [what performance] we will produce on the pitch and if we will be as aggressive and strong as Stoke. If we do that, we can beat them.”

Rosicky admits he is trying to get into the box more this season, but says he has to be aware of his defensive duties, too.

“I would like to do that but on the other side, the most important thing for me is that the team functions well,” he said. “I think that's why the boss plays me - because of my experience.

“If I see that there are already plenty of guys in front of me who are going into the box or are in the box already, I know I cannot go there as well.

“I'm always making sure that the balance of the team on the pitch is right and I will do that all the time because the only thing that matters for me is that the team wins.”

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