The Big Question: Will Ozil be Arsenal’s downfall with Dortmund?
Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp believes Mesut Ozil can be Arsenal’s missing link and the one player that the Gunners were previously lacking.
However, despite all of Ozil’s technical ability, creativity and attacking attributes, there is somewhat of a possibility that his weaknesses may be more exposed than his strengths are profited from when Dortmund travel to the Emirates.
In terms of match betting, Arsenal’s odds are 13/10 to give Arsene Wenger a nice present on the day he celebrates his 64th birthday, Dortmund are 19/10 to join the Gunners on six points at the summit of Group F and the draw is available at 5/2.
Ozil knows Dortmund well, having played them four times in the Champions League last season for Real Madrid and being on the winning team only once.
The one clash that particularly stands out was the 4-1 Dortmund success in Germany, where Ozil struggled to influence the game from an attacking standpoint and his lack of defensive workrate was punished.
The fact he will line up centrally for Arsenal, in comparison to being stationed out on the right for Real, should help, as it will allow Ozil to roam into vacant space to create overloads, pick out passes and generally influence play.
But, Jose Mourinho has already shown this season that a number 10 who does help defensively is preferred and this is one reason why Oscar may be keeping Juan Mata out of Chelsea’s team, despite the Spaniard’s goal and assist contributions in recent campaigns.
With Mathieu Flamini also out for Arsenal, their midfield is further weakened from a defensive perspective and even though Dortmund are without Ilkay Gundogan, they could still overload the middle of the pitch.
What’s more, Dortmund tend to press high up the pitch and so the absence of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be felt, as Arsenal will be without any outright pace running in behind.
Taking all of this into consideration, Arsenal may be able to do little wrong at present, but this could be the match where their bubble bursts.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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