Arsenal's record signing could be handed his debut against early strugglers Sunderland
With the pressure already mounting on Paulo Di Canio, he must wonder if there is anything else he needs to worry about as the domestic season pauses for the internationals.
Not content with arresting a decline, trying to get 14 new players gelling into a unit for Sunderland after only picking up one point out of nine, Di Canio has to work out a way to contain the German international, and to prevent him from heaping more misery on his side.
He must do it without his captain and experienced defender John O’Shea, and in the meantime he must also find a way to stop his side conceding goals, and since they have conceded at least goal from them in every game, set-pieces would be the place to start.
On paper, you would say Sunderland could have been dealt a worse hand to start the season by the fixture computer. A home game against Fulham they would’ve thought they ought to win, but lost, a trip to Southampton looked their most testing assignment and they came away with a point – though they will feel they should’ve taken all three, and a visit to Premier League new boys Crystal Palace – a place where they would’ve sensed an opportunity to get themselves up and running with a win.
Either way, it feels as if Sunderland should’ve performed better in their opening games, and there wouldn’t feel as if there was that much riding on the outcome of the Arsenal game. But with his side struggling for momentum, the side still trying to gel, and confidence being a little low, it’d be a good bet to say Ozil may run riot on his Premier League debut.
Di Canio must be away somewhere praying for a hiccup for Ozil on international duty to give him one less thing to worry about, and his club a bit of respite.
image: © Jan S0L0