Mesut Özil is having one hell of a season.
If Arsenal are to have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League knockout rounds, they will need a good performance from Özil on Wednesday night. Facing Olympiacos away from home, the Gunners will have to score at least twice to go through and Özil is the man to provide the goals.
In the Champions League this season his incredible record of assisting hasn’t continued, but he has managed to score in games against Bayern Munich and Dinamo Zagreb. Could Olympiacos be next?
“It will be very, very hard,” the German said to Arsenal Player before the players travelled to Greece on Tuesday. “Olympiacos can play good football and we saw that at the Emirates. They want to play on the counter-attack but we can’t concede goals like we did before again.
“The fans will be behind them and our goal has to be to beat them. I have played in Greece before. I know that there will be a very good atmosphere, the fans are crazy and they really support their team right through the full 90 minutes.”
With injuries throughout the squad, Özil is even more crucial than ever. He showed as much again at the weekend, assisting the team’s opening goal in a 3-1 defeat of Sunderland.
The Premier League title race is incredibly tight, but all attention is on our European ambitions ahead of such a big match.
“We have to be focused on the game,” Özil added. “We have to give a really good performance.
“It is possible to win there with two goals in our favour and that’s what we want to do. We have to really give everything so that we can achieve this and get through to the next round.”
Hopefully Özil is fit to play after missing training on Tuesday morning, and with any luck he will continue his blistering form to help Arsenal go through.