‘Mesut Ozil must star for Arsenal against Bayern Munich’

Alan Smith says the spotlight will be on Mesut Özil in Arsenal's Champions League showdown with Bayern Munich

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
mesut ozil
Arsenal playmaker Mesut Özil Photo: Adidas

The spotlight will be on Mesut Ozil in Arsenal’s Champions League showdown with Bayern Munich, according to Alan Smith.

The Gunners host the holders at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night in the first leg of their last-16 clash as the north London side look to gain revenge for their defeat by the Bundesliga champions last season.

With such a big game you look to your big players and he’s one of them, so there’s a big onus on Ozil

Alan Smith

And former Arsenal striker Smith feels that Ozil needs to prove himself in a big game following his club-record £42.5m move to Emirates Stadium last summer.

“They [Arsenal] haven’t got too many choices [in the middle] really with [Mikel] Arteta suspended and Aaron Ramsey injured, so I think Ozil will play and he’ll play through the middle,” Smith told talkSPORT.

“[It’s] not just about when he’s on the ball and trying to create, but when Bayern Munich have got it he’s got to do a job on Philipp Lahm, nipping back and getting his foot in, trying to stop the Bayern captain from getting his team ticking because if they do, it’s going to be difficult.

“He has been disappointing at times since joining Arsenal but with such a big game you look to your big players and he’s one of them, so there’s a big onus on Ozil tomorrow night.”

Arsenal v Bayern Munich: Pre-match facts

• Arsenal’s last success at this stage came in 2010 when they recovered from a 2-1 defeat at Porto to win 5-0 in London. That was their third successive victory in the round of 16.

• This is Bayern’s sixth successive last-16 appearance with their 2011 reverse against FC Internazionale Milano their sole defeat in that run.

• This is Bayern’s fourth visit to England in 12 months and they have been successful on their three previous trips, including victory against Dortmund in May’s final at Wembley.

• Lukas Podolski played for Bayern from 2006 until 2009, scoring 15 goals in 71 league games. Either side of that spell he spent a total of six years with Cologne and in 10 games against Bayern was only once on the winning side.

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