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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Burton: Wilshere on right path

Arsenal reserve team and head development coach Terry Burton feels Jack Wilshere's display for the Under-21 side against Reading Under-21's is an indicator that he is on the road to a full recovery.

• Blog: Giroud is more than a striker
• Wilshere impresses for Under-21s

Wilshere, 20, made his return from 14 months on the sidelines last week, playing for an hour against West Brom's Under-21s. It was a display that blew away the cobwebs and a further week's training saw him step up his comeback.

The midfielder got through 74 minutes against the Royals and played a part in both of Arsenal's goals.

Burton feels the England international looked far more assured and believes he is heading towards a first-team return.

"He rode challenges better, which is a big part of his game," Burton told Sky Sports. "He likes to keep close to defenders to put them out of the game and he did that better.

"His final pass was good. It was a big improvement on the previous performance.

"It is only natural, given the period he has been out, it comes in stages. He has worked very hard, he has been first class in training."

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Vito Mannone has rubbished claims that he is worried about his long-term future at the club.

Mannone, 24, was reportedly unhappy over a lack of contract talks, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.

However, the former Atalanta man insists he is only concerned about trying to hold down the No. 1 spot at the club.

"Neither myself nor anyone from my family or friends have spoken about any deal," Mannone told the club's official website. "At the moment I am really happy and just focusing on training and playing well.

"I am trying to be the No.1 for this club and win trophies. That is my only concern and I would like to make that clear.

"The boss has given me the chance. I have to keep going and prove myself in every single game. This is my best time at Arsenal so I would be crazy to not take the chance to put up a fight for my place."

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