Midfielder believes Gunners' style of play makes them favourites against Aston Villa in tonight's final
London: Mesut Ozil believes every team should be scared of Arsenal, but has warned his side to be cautious against an underdog like Aston Villa in today’s FA Cup final.
The Germany international has played a key role in the Gunners’ improvement in the second half of the season following an injury-hit start to the campaign.
And though he recognises Villa will prove a tough test as Arsene Wenger’s side look to retain the trophy, he feels Arsenal’s style of play is enough to strike fear into any opposition team. “People consider us favourites, but that does not mean you can be too sure,” he told SID.
“Sometimes it is even harder against so-called underdogs. You have to make the plays and they never give up, even when they’re 0-3 down. But I also know, that every opponent should be scared of us, because we play good football.
“It will be a tough match. One thing is for sure — we’re FA Cup champions and we want to stay as that.”
Ozil’s struggles with fitness at the start of the season were partly blamed on a lack of pre-season preparation following his World Cup-winning exploits with Germany over the summer.
While Ozil is now fighting fit, Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck will miss out after failing to recover from a knee injury. Manager Arsene Wenger has a number of selection decisions, such as whether to field goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and forward Theo Walcott from the start. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mathieu Debuchy (both hamstring) and captain Mikel Arteta (ankle) are in contention after returning to training following injuries.
Shay Given is set to be fit for Aston Villa’s first FA Cup final in 15 years after returning to training following a groin injury. Aly Cissokho (groin), Kieran Richardson (calf) and Jores Okore (knee) have also trained but Ciaran Clark (knee) is out.
Did you know?
While defending champions Arsenal have won the FA Cup 11 times, Aston Villa have also claimed the coveted trophy seven times. However, their last win in the tournament came in 1956-57. They also won in 1886-87, 1894-95, 1896-97, 1904-05, 1912-13 and 1919-20
Live tonight: FA Cup Final
Arsenal vs Aston Villa: Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD4, 21:55