Bender: Facing Arsenal's Ozil is 'cool' but I need help
Borussia Dortmund's Sven Bender has been discussing the prospect of coming up against Mesut Ozil this week.Arsenal's match at the Emirates against Borussia Dortmund is one the neutrals are looking forward to, and it seems the German side can't wait either.
Admittedly, says midfielder Sven Bender, the Germans enter the game with much trepidation due to Arsenal's supreme form.
The addition of Mesut Ozil to Arsenal has meant the club's exploits are covered more intently than usual in the German press, and the success the team is having has been very much highlighted.
Ozil's German international teammate knows just how tough it is going to be, but is also excited for the challenge.
Sven Bender like his Leverkusen brother Lars, is a defensive midfielder and is to be the player tasked with trying to keep Ozil quiet.
He told Bild: "Basically, I think it's cool to play against such a world-class player. These are real challenges that I enjoy.
"He has such a great individual class that I cannot guarantee to win every duel against him. We can only successfully disturb him when we doubled up on him."
The danger of course is if Dortmund double up on Ozil, then it creates more space for other players, and with Santi Cazorla due to return it could be the Spaniard who profits.
Bender's teammate Nuri Sahin spelled it out, adding: "We all know what Mesut can do. But to reduce Arsenal only to him, would be a big mistake."
Just the fact they are spending all this time pre-game discussing Arsenal is telling. The Gunners have the fear factor they were accused previously of lacking.
We just wonder how 'cool' Bender will think facing Ozil will be after the game in midweek, knowing he will have to do exactly the same a fortnight after.