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Wilshere injury frees Ozil to be Arsenal’s hero against Everton

| 07.03.2014

Where one door closes another inevitably swings open. Jack Wilshere’s gross misfortune in fracturing a foot represents a hammer blow for the player, his club and his country, but for Arsenal’s man in the shadows it offers a chance to shine in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Having hit the lowest point in a steadily declining arc of form when turning in an abject display against Bayern Munich, which included a pivotal penalty miss, Arsene Wenger has rightly wrapped Mesut Ozil in the soft, white stuff.

However, having lost Wilshere to injury, Arsene Wenger will be forced to unravel Ozil from his cotton-quilt overcoat and charge his star player with orchestrating Arsenal’s safe passage to the the FA Cup semi-finals by seeing off Everton at the Emirates.

Judging by Everton’s poor recent away form – where the Toffees are winless in five, having lost the last three against tough opposition – Arsenal’s odds of 4/5 to win the match feel justified.

And Everton’s 7/2-rated chances feel that bit slimmer when punters consider the Merseyside outfit have only won one of their last 10 FA Cup matches away from home against a fellow top-flight team.

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s fifth-round victory over Liverpool represented their 10th domestic win in 13 unbeaten games at the Emirates, nailing to the mast what a tough prospect Everton face to progress.

Desperate to return to his early adoration from the stands, backing Ozil to score as part of an Arsenal win at 4/1 feels like it has serious legs here, especially as Ozil’s last goal arrived against the visitors.

Added to this, Wenger will do well to select Ozil’s German international team-mate Lukas Podolski for this one, after giving his gaffer an impressive return of four goals from as many FA Cup appearances this season.

Podolski is 2/1 to notch anytime and 6/1 to break the deadlock.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.