Reading midfielder Danny Williams gunning for reunion with Arsenal's Mesut Ozil

Madejski Reading

The US international is hoping to line up against his former Bundesliga rival in the weekend's FA Cup semi-final.

Reading midfielder Danny Williams has told ProSoccerTalk of his eagerness to face former Bundesliga opponent Mesut Ozil in Saturday afternoon’s FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

The German-born US international came up against Ozil’s Werder Bremen side while in the midst of making his first-team breakthrough at Freiburg, before the World Cup-winner departed for Real Madrid in August 2010 for a fee believed to be in the region of €15 million.

Williams himself would go on to seal a switch to top-flight rivals Hoffenheim the following summer, where he spent two solid seasons before moving on to Reading, just a couple of months prior to Ozil’s transfer to the Emirates Stadium.

The pair are now set to be reunited at the weekend on the Wembley Stadium pitch, where the Royals ace insists he won’t be overawed by his old adversary’s playmaking skills.

“I had the chance to play against him when he was at Werder Bremen. He is a great footballer. He gets a bit of stick sometimes with the way he acts on the pitch but that’s just him. You cannot change that,” said Williams.

“It’s like saying to me, ‘you cannot play with emotion’ … that’s just not me as a player. Ozil is a great player, then you have Cazorla, Sanchez and all of the others. They are unbelievable and not second in the Premier League for no reason.

“Ozil plays a lot of one touches but also has a brilliant left foot. You can enjoy watching him as a fan but when I play against these players I am not there to enjoy watching him. I enjoy trying to win against them, so we will see.”

As a holding midfielder, Williams has also been impressed with Gunners counterpart Francis Coquelin in recent months, having seen him make the jump from a Championship loan stint with Charlton Athletic to filling a crucial role in Arsene Wenger’s side.

Nevertheless, he is hoping that the Frenchman has an off day when the two battle it out in the centre of the park during the Wembley showpiece.

“I have been quite impressed by him,” Williams added. “When you watch Arsenal the likes of Wilshere, Ramsey, Arteta, they normally play every game and nobody really was counting on Coquelin.

“I had the same thing when I moved to Hoffenheim from Freiburg. Nobody expected me to play but I played a lot of games. It shows that when you get a chance, you can use it.

“He is very high in confidence at the moment and is hard to play against. I am quite similar I would say and I am looking forward to that battle. I am loving the chance to play against the best players in the world and prove that on this day that maybe they are wrong.”

After overcoming a series of summer knee injuries, Williams has made 28 total appearances for Reading this season, playing every minute of the club’s FA Cup campaign so far.

He also returned to Jurgen Klinsmann's US squad for last month's friendlies against Denmark and Switzerland after a 12-month absence, going the full 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw against the latter.

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