Mesut Özil claims Leicester City being top of the table in February is one of the biggest surprises in European football, and says his and Arsenal’s job this weekend will be to knock them off their pedestal, as reported by German outlet SID (via the Express).
The playmaker realises how difficult it will be to get the win we need over the Foxes, as they’ve really shown their title credentials this season – dismantling former favourites Manchester City being their latest feat.
He appreciates what they’ve achieved, but knows exactly what he has to do this Sunday.
“It’ll be incredibly difficult to stop [Leicester],” Özil told SID.
“They were up 3-0 at Manchester City after 60 minutes.
“It’s brilliant what they accomplish with their team.
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“You have to have the greatest respect for that.
“Our job is to at least for now get Leicester off this unbelievable wave of euphoria.
“That Leicester lead the Premier League by this margin in February is one of the biggest surprises in the European top flights in the past few years.”
His comments suggest a healthy respect for our opposition, which is exactly what’s needed. We have a habit of underestimating teams, and if we do that against Leicester we will unquestionably be punished.
With the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez at their disposal, Leicester are a truly frightening proposition this season and getting the win is anything but a forgone conclusion – even at the Emirates.
We’ll need to be defensively sound to keep out their freescoring forwards, while also hitting hard up front and showing more clinical finishing than we have done in recent weeks; Bournemouth aside.
Claudio Ranieri’s side currently have a healthy lead over us – with even Tottenham between us and top spot – and a loss would give us a huge amount to do. A draw wouldn’t really cut it, as Leicester have a relatively easy run of fixtures coming up, so we desperately need to make sure we get the win.
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A dominant display and an emphatic victory could also serve to lower their confidence heading into their upcoming comes, so there’s even more motivation to go out and play the best game we can. Özil will obviously be key to that, and hopefully he can put on a masterclass at the Emirates this weekend.