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Arsenal team news: Why Emery has left Ozil out of the north London derby

Mesut Ozil has not been included in Unai Emery’s Arsenal squad to face Tottenham at the Emirates on Sunday because of a back spasm.

The Gunners are set to take on their arch-rivals at home just after 2 pm, with only three points separating the two sides in the Premier League table.

Emery’s men are unbeaten in 18 matches across all competitions and look capable of mounting a realistic challenge for a top-four finish, while also making a play for silverware in the Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

However, they have been dealt a blow heading into the north London derby as Ozil has been left out of the final matchday squad, having suffered a back spasm injury – as per Daily Mirror journalist Will Magee on Twitter.

 

The German midfielder has been a key part of Arsenal’s success over the first four months of the 2018-19 campaign and will be a big miss in the middle of the park, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi starting in his absence behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Mesut Ozil 2018-19

Alexandre Lacazette has to make do to with a spot on the bench against Spurs, while Lucas Torreira retains his place in the starting line-up after a string of impressive performances.

A win for the Gunners could see them leapfrog the Lilywhites in the table, but the visitors are on a great run of their own, having won their last six matches in succession.

Ozil’s creativity and guile in midfield would have been a great weapon for Arsenal but they must now find a way to succeed without the talismanic playmaker, with defeat in front of their own fans absolutely unthinkable at this crucial stage of the season.

More Stories Alex Iwobi Alexandre Lacazette Henrikh Mkhitaryan Lucas Torreira Mesut Ozil Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Unai Emery