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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Begovic's Bosnian Battle

ASMIR BEGOVIC is relishing the prospect of a potential showdown with Bosnian international compatriot Edin Dzeko at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

The Potters number one has spent the past ten days with the Manchester City striker on international duty, where they bounced back from a disappointing home defeat against Slovakia last weekend with a vital victory in the return fixture in Zilina on Wednesday.

Begovic admits to being close friends with Dzeko, but insists that their friendship will be firmly cast aside once the action commences in under 48 hours time.

"We are friends for sure, and he is a great guy and an incredible player, but once kick-off comes on Saturday all we will both be thinking about is getting the win for our respective teams," he said.

"We have spoken about the game during our time together on international duty and we are both looking forward to it, just as we always do.

"In my opinion he is one the three best number nines in the world along with Falcao and Robert Lewandowski; so he is somebody that we have certainly got to keep our eye on during the game."

He added: "He scored against me last time at the Etihad Stadium, but he was due one in that game because I have made a few saves against him over the years. Hopefully I can keep him out again this weekend."

Meanwhile, the 26-year old has also given a glowing endorsement to new Potters teammate Marko Arnautovic after working with him at close quarters for the first time on Thursday afternoon.

"He is a very, very exciting player and somebody I know quite a lot about having watched a lot of German football over the last couple of years," he added.

"If we can get the best out of him then he will be an absolutely massive signing for us, because he possesses abilities that a lot of other players wish they had.

"I remember him at Twente in Holland where he really burst on to the scene and then at Inter Milan. The fact that Jose Mourinho took him there tells you what sort of player he is."

Tickets for the visit of Manchester City to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday are still available. Buy from, in person direct from the Britannia Stadium Ticket Office or by calling 01782 367599.

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