Arsenal will be without their record £42 million signing Mesut Ozil in this weekend’s north London derby and possibly beyond, but will the Gunners miss the Germany international?
Having been granted a break by Arsene Wenger following an indifferent spell of form, the former Real Madrid playmaker looked back to his best against Everton last weekend, scoring his first goal since December and laying on another for Olivier Giroud.
Ozil was unable to continue his upturn in fortune against Bayern Munich, however, and was virtually anonymous, shunted out to the right wing, before he was substituted at half time with a hamstring injury that looked "quite bad", according to Arsene Wenger.
The Gunners have a tough run of fixtures on the horizon with league encounters against Spurs, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton to contend with as well as the upcoming FA Cup semi-final against Wigan – in many respects Ozil’s injury could not have been more poorly timed.
But Arsenal are now left with an almost identical squad that went unbeaten and took 26 of the last 30 points available from the then final 10 games of last season to secure fourth place ahead of Tottenham. In short, this group of players have been here before.
Will Arsenal miss a player who has regularly failed to deliver when they have really needed him this season, particularly against heavyweight opponents? Or does the recent victory over Sunderland, where they produced some of their most fluent football of the campaign with Tomas Rosicky rolling back the years, demonstrate they will be just fine without Ozil?
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