Arsene Wenger puts faith in David Ospina for Bayern test

Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2017 by PA

Arsene Wenger will play David Ospina in goal against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night after claiming Arsenal would not be at the Allianz Arena were it not for the goalkeeper's form earlier in the season.

The Gunners face a tough challenge as they come up against the reigning Bundesliga champions in Germany for the first leg of their round-of-16 tie.

Wenger's side have been dumped out at this stage of the competition in the previous six seasons, including twice by Bayern, but will be hoping to make use of the small advantage of playing the first leg away from home.

That is reward for topping their group, in which Ospina played all six games as Arsenal remained undefeated against Paris St Germain, Basle and Ludogorets.

And Wenger has kept faith in the Colombia international, opting to field him against Bayern rather than revert back to usual first-choice stopper Petr Cech, as he did at this stage last season against Barcelona.

"I have nothing to hide there, it will be Ospina because of the quality of his performances," he replied when asked which goalkeeper would start the game.

"We are in the last 16 and finished top of the group. If you analyse his performances in every single game we are where we are because of his great performances."

Wenger also suggested Mesut Ozil would start on Wednesday after he said the German World Cup winner was lacking confidence in recent games.

Ozil has not scored since December 10 and has been a peripheral figure for many of Arsenal's last fixtures, including the two recent defeats to Watford and Chelsea.

"I will pick the team tomorrow morning," he said when asked if Ozil would play.

"I have no doubt that we play in Germany and Ozil is highly focused to have a good performance tomorrow.

"Ozil has been playing for us for many years now and he knows perfectly our team and he knows how we want to play in every match. So it is an important match."

Mats Hummels expects "world-class" Ozil to be in the Arsenal team.

The pair lifted the World Cup with Germany in 2014 and know each other well from their time on the international stage.

"For me it was a surprise that Mesut is doubtful to play," said the Bayern defender.

"He is a world-class player and someone who is always put on the field. I think he will be on the pitch tomorrow from the first minute because he is a class player.

"We have to make him play not good tomorrow because that would be bad for the result. Every offensive player has their good and bad moments.

"It is not something you can project on one player. There is not one player who delivers in every game."


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