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Pieters impressed by Stoke fullback rival Muniesa

Stoke City defender Erik Pieters is full of praise for teammate Marc Muniesa.

Pieters was left out of Stoke City's starting 11 for only the third time in the league this season when the Potters slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Tottenham at the weekend.

But the 25-year-old, who had been sick earlier in the week, admits he was more than impressed by deputy Muniesa as he took in the match from the bench.

He told The Sentinel: "Muni (Muniesa) played really well against Spurs marking Aaron Lennon, a good, quick player. He had a really strong game in my opinion.

"It's a good, healthy rivalry between us. I want to play and he wants to play, so we will have to see what the gaffer decides.

"Maybe he will choose to put me on the left and Muni in the centre (while Shawcross is suspended) - I think that's a good choice!

"He's my friend, mi amigo. We came here together and we will be friends, always."

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