Lahm fears Ozil threat

The former Real Madrid star has struggled for form in recent weeks but his international team-mate insists he could have a big impact on Tuesday’s Champions League tie

By Thomas Unsworth

Mesut Ozil will “punish” Bayern Munich if the holders take the threat of Arsenal lightly in their Champions League last-16 clash, according to Philipp Lahm.

The Bayern captain and Arsenal’s record signing have represented Germany on 156 occasions between them, but will line-up on opposing teams when Pep Guardiola’s side travel to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

After a bright start to his Arsenal career following his £42 million move from Real Madrid in August, Ozil’s presence in Premier League games had waned in recent weeks.

But Lahm, whose side are strong favourites to become the first to retain the Champions League, knows that one moment of magic from Ozil could prove the difference in the tie.

“Many of the players at Bayern know exactly what Mesut is capable of – he has been one of the best central midfield players in the world for many years now,” Lahm told Goal.

“He sees passes and space that very few players in the world are able to see – he is a very intelligent player.

“Even when he is maybe not having the best of games or is not in the best form – you can’t give him any space or time on the ball – because in a second he can find that pass and you are punished.”

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