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Arsenal could rest Mesut Özil and bring back Olivier Giroud for Sunderland clash

Squawka News
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 20 Mar 2019, 14:54 IST
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he will make several changes to his side following the midweek Champions League last-16 first leg defeat to Bayern Munich.

The Gunners face relegation threatened Sunderland on Saturday afternoon as they look to stay in the race for the Premier League crown, but there could be one glaring omission from the starting line-up in the form of under fire midfielder Mesut Ozil.

The club’s £42.4 million record signing missed a crucial penalty against Bayern Munich, with Wenger later criticising his casual approach to the spot kick, and the Frenchman has now hinted during his pre-match press conference that he will be rested for the visit of Gus Poyet’s side.

Ozil has become a scapegoat due to his lackadaisical performance of late, although he has become a victim of his own success as he began his career in north London in such blistering form.

Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud is expected to be involved in the encounter with the Black Cats’ after his surprise omission from Wednesday’s clash with the Bavarians. Reports suggested the forward was dropped due to problems in his private life but Wenger has insisted he was merely rested.

The news is somewhat surprising considering he is the club’s first-choice striker and Bayern Munich was arguably the club’s biggest game of the season.

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However, the man who benefited from Giroud’s misfortune, Yaya Sanogo, produced a respectable display against the German side and could be given a starting berth in favour of Giroud once more.

The youngster has been on the fringes of Wenger’s side this year, with many believing another forward should been brought in during the January transfer window, but Wenger believes the 21-year-old could have a vital role to play during the run-in.

Elsewhere, left-back Kieran Gibbs has been ruled out with the hamstring injury that forced him out of the game in midweek.

The mood at the Emirates is far from happy and Saturday’s game will be crucial if the players are to re-win the trust of the fans and restore their own confidence.

Such a damaging defeat in midweek has all but ended their quest for European glory but Wenger must ensure it does not unravel Arsenal’s entire season as he looks to claim all three points and cling onto the coat tails of his rivals.

Published 21 Feb 2014, 19:00 IST
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