Pep Guardiola says he has no doubts about Mesut Özil’s qualities, despite the German’s critics in the English media.

Guardiola was asked about Mesut in his pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal’s trip to the Etihad. Pep responded by speaking out against those who don’t give Özil the credit he deserves, saying: “I have no doubt about Mesut Özil.

“I already loved him when he was in Madrid, even when he was losing … I really have no doubt about his qualities. He is always criticised when the team loses, because the big player is always criticised. I greatly admire him.

“Maybe his body language does not help him much: sometimes, body language can disturb critics, the media. Sometimes, some of the big players who became pundits forget that they were there, in this kind of situation on the ground. That’s how it must be accepted.

“It’s good for the Premier League to have that kind of talent. I hope it will be a very, very tough match on Sunday.”

Arsenal will need Mesut to be at his very best on Sunday if they’re going to have any chance against City. The German has created more chances per minute than any player in the entire league this season, so all he needs to do is keep that same momentum going.

People are often critical of Özil in away games, but after he put the Gunners in front against Everton at Goodison Park, and then assisted Lacazette for what turned out to be the winning goal, he’s silenced off some of his doubters. To shut up the rest, he’ll need to do the same against the league leaders.

City have an impressive creative talent [Edit – Just the one?] of their own in Kevin De Bruyne, who has created just as many chances as Özil has this season (albeit from a larger number of minutes).

The Gunners have to keep the Belgian quiet on Sunday or he will be able to tear their wobbly defence to pieces.

If that happens, there’s not much Mesut can do to have an impact; so it’s not just the World Cup winner who needs to do his job on Sunday.