Middlesbrough have developed a reputation of being giant killers after their shock FA Cup win over Manchester City, but Boro boss Aitor Karanka is still afraid of the quality we possess, according to the Express.
The Championship leaders head to the Emirates this Sunday, with both sides looking to fire themselves into the next round of the FA Cup.
Karanka is worried about Mesut Özil in particular, a player he knows well from his time at Real Madrid.
“Mesut is a very good lad, I spent three seasons working with him in Madrid. He’s an amazing player and I hope he’s not on top form on Sunday,” he said.
“Maybe he’s coming into form at the wrong time for us, but perhaps he can be rested for them, because Arsenal have got some big games coming up. I’ve not spoken to him in the build-up to the game because it’s been a busy week, but I hope to see him afterwards on Sunday.
“Of course, the surprise element has gone, after the way we played at Liverpool and the result at Manchester City, now everyone knows about us. We’re at the top of the table now as well, so there will be no surprises for Arsenal.”
The German playmaker has been in fantastic form since his return from injury, and has been both scoring and assisting with frequency in recent weeks.
It’s unlikely that Arsene Wenger will choose to rest our record signing for the FA Cup clash, as retaining the trophy seems like our best chance of silverware this season.
Let’s just hope we can find some semblance of the form we showed before our disappointing loss against Tottenham, and avoid the same fate that befell Manchester City.