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Monreal on Crouch and left-back return

Nacho Monreal

Nacho Monreal knows that Arsenal must handle the aerial ability of Peter Crouch when they face Stoke City on Sunday.

Crouch scored after 19 seconds in December’s reverse fixture as Mark Hughes' team ran out 3-2 winners at Britannia Stadium.

Despite a disappointing afternoon in Staffordshire, Monreal is confident Arsenal can overcome Stoke’s physical presence by utilising their home advantage.

"Every team has something which is very dangerous and that’s what makes the Premier League so interesting"

Nacho Monreal

“We know they are a strong team,” Monreal told the matchday programme. “At home, Stoke are better because they have a direct style with tall players, but we’re playing at home this time so I hope we can win because we want to stay around the top of the table.”

“You know Crouch is not quick, he’s not a great dribbler but he’s very dangerous from long balls and he always wins them.

“He’s really good at setting up the wingers and the midfielders, and is very dangerous from set-pieces. Every team has something which is very dangerous and that’s what makes the Premier League so interesting.”

Monreal has featured predominantly at centre back this season but returned to his natural position on the left in Sunday’s FA Cup third-round win against Hull City.

Matchday programme

Read the full interview with Nacho in the Stoke City programme

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“I’ve always said that the most important thing for any player is to play,” the defender said. “Obviously I am a left back and I feel more comfortable playing there but this season I’ve played more minutes at centre back.

“When you play a few games at centre back, you are more accustomed to some movements, so it’s strange when you play at left back. At centre back you have to run less, it’s more about focus, mentality, so when you go back to left back you can feel more tired.”

Peter Crouch challenges Per Mertesacker

Peter Crouch challenges Per Mertesacker

 

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