Mesut Ozil is convinced that if Arsenal can prevent themselves from getting red carded against Manchester United, we shouldn’t have a problem beating them.
Against Chelsea, we had both Gabriel and Santi Cazorla sent off, leaving us weakened, and the German playmaker is convinced that if we manage to finish with 11 men on the pitch, we have the quality to take all three points from the Red Devils.
“The anticipation and the expectation is obviously big,” he said. “We just want to prove ourselves and get the three points.
“When you prove yourself against big teams, your self-belief increases because you believe in yourself more.
“If you look at our team, in the last few weeks we’ve been weakened by red cards. But if we can prevent that, I’m convinced that we can do well against big teams.
“We’ll show that against Manchester United.”
It’s an interesting theory.
The midfielder also admitted that he was no stranger to the fixture even before joining Arsenal.
“You always watch these games,” the German said. “I didn’t just watch matches between Arsenal and Manchester United, I watched all the big teams playing against each other because I always wanted to watch the best players trying to prove themselves. That’s how it will be this time too.
“Back then I would enjoy watching players like Henry, Bergkamp, Ljungberg and Pires. I think it’s very exciting for the fans when two such big teams play against each other.”
Arsenal have a genuine chance of beating United at the Emirates on Sunday, but we’ve been saying that since Sir Alex Ferguson left. Hopefully now, after beating them in the FA Cup at Old Trafford last season, we’ve overcome the mental block we seem to have when facing them.
As long as we channel how we played against Leicester City in the Premiership and not Olympiacos in the Champions League, we should be alright.