Arsenal trust in dynamic duo for Stoke test

London: Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will spearhead Arsenal’s attack against Stoke City on Saturday as their ongoing contract talks continue to dominate the club’s off-pitch agenda.
The decisive duo will both be out of contract in 2018 as things stand, prompting fears they could leave the club.
Arsene Wenger has vowed they will not be sold prior to the end of their contracts, but was unable to give fans any assurances about their futures at the Emirates Stadium.
“They have 18 months left on their contract and they are completely committed to do well as long as they are here,” said the Frenchman, whose side trail Premier League leaders Chelsea by three points.
“Beyond that, we’ll try to extend their contracts, but I cannot make that the subject in every press conference because it’s a normal part of every renewal when you renegotiate.
“The less you talk about it, the better it is.”
Sanchez, 27, and Ozil, 28, have been in sparkling form of late as Arsenal have climbed to second place in the league table and secured a place in the Champions League last 16 as group winners.
Wenger added: “These players have 18 months left. They will stay for 18 months and hopefully much longer.
“They’ve been hugely important. You can talk a lot, but the most important thing is what they do on the pitch.
“Their commitment is absolutely total. The first quality of a professional guy is to give 100 per cent. It’s here and now, that’s what it means to be professional.”
Arsenal v Stoke has been regarded as a hostile fixture ever since Potters captain Ryan Shawcross broke the leg of Aaron Ramsey in 2010.
Wenger appeared to upset opposite number Mark Hughes when he described his side’s 0-0 draw at Stoke in January as “an old-fashioned Stoke battle”.
Shaqiri feels ‘more free’
Addressing the Welshman’s reservations, which concerned Wenger’s comments about the physical nature of the game, the Arsenal manager said on Thursday: “What is wrong with an old-fashioned battle? — AFP