Mesut Ozil will be back against Chelsea after missing the Stoke away game due to a slight injury and his creativity was certainly missed against the Potters.
Everything has already been said about his exceptional performance level in the 2015/16 season, but for those who have not heard or seen the numbers here is a quick reminder:
In the Premier League: 20 games, three goals, 16 assists, 26 shots, 10 on target, 11 fouls committed, 24 fouls suffered and two yellow cards.
His overall stats say: 29 games, six goals, 16 assists, 36 shots, 19 on target, 18 fouls committed, 33 fouls suffered and four yellow cards.
The London derby is a big game and another important test for the German playmaker, especially as there will the comparisons with the player he has replaced at the heart of the Gunners engine: Cesc Fabregas.
There is absolutely no doubt that the German has outperformed the Spaniard who has the following stats:
In the Premier League: 21 games, one goal, three assists, 21 shots, 10 on target, 21 fouls committed, 15 fouls suffered and one yellow card.
His overall stats say: 33 games, two goals, six assists, 34 shots 15 on target, 33 fouls committed, 26 fouls suffered and two yellow cards.
So what can we expect on Sunday from the pass master? An excellent work rate of course with many kilometers ran during the game, at least 10 of them.
Considering Chelsea’s overall poor performances this season, Arsenal will look to have the lion’s share of ball possession, so it will mean many touches in the middle third and hopefully decisive ones in the attacking third.
As the playmaker and therefore the technical leader on the pitch, you would expect him to take the game by the scruff of the neck. He needs to do what he has done for the whole season so far: take control of the game, orientate play, find a way to create space and time for the two wingers to go behind the full backs.
He will also need to be at his best for the link-up play with Olivier Giroud as their relationship is vital in term of ball retention when the team is under pressure.
On the defensive side, he will need to stay tight and close to the other four midfield players although Wenger does not favor the traditional 4-5-1 style in his defensive set-up. Ozil tends to be floating around Giroud doing the defensive work and sometimes it leaves holes beside him as Flamini and Ramsey do not seem to be extremely well suited and coordinated in defending in the middle.
The big players always shine in big games, so Sunday should really bring another excellent performance from Mesut Ozil and hopefully another assist from the pass master.