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Arsene Wenger: No "bad blood" between Arsenal, Stoke City

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger plays down the "bad blood" element as Stoke City gear up for a visit to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsene Wenger has stressed that there is no "bad blood" between Arsenal and Stoke City ahead of Saturday's clash at the Emirates Stadium.

The Frenchman has often criticised the Potters for a physical approach, with Ryan Shawcross breaking Aaron Ramsey's leg during a fiery encounter at the Britannia Stadium in 2010 during Tony Pulis's reign.

Nevertheless, Stoke have won plaudits for their attacking style since Mark Hughes replaced Pulis in 2013, and Wenger says that meetings nowadays do not tend to have the same bite as a result.

"For me there was never bad blood, it was just a game that was always very difficult for us to play," he told a press conference. "But I always focus on playing football and trying to get my team to play as well as we can.

"They are team with a good culture of the Premier League, they know how to behave and they have experience. They have been here a long time in the Premier League and they have improved their technical quality.

"What we want is to focus on our own performance as we want to take off at home now. There is a little bit of history because of what happened and overall it was always very difficult for us."

Stoke, who have won their last two home games with the Gunners, have not beaten them away since 1981.

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Mesut Ozil of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium on August 9, 2015
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