Sport Soccer

Saturday 23 August 2014

Cazorla excited by Ozil partnership

Published 25/10/2013 | 07:51

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Santi Cazorla, pictured, is relishing playing with Mesut Ozil

Santi Cazorla cannot wait to team up with Mesut Ozil in the heart of Arsenal's midfield at Crystal Palace.

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The Barclays Premier League leaders will be looking to bounce back from their midweek Champions League home 2-1 defeat by Borussia Dortmund when they travel to Selhurst Park for Saturday's lunchtime kick-off.

Ozil was somewhat subdued against Dortmund, which was a first for the German playmaker since his club-record £43million deadline day move from Real Madrid.

The midfielder, though, did almost help conjure up a goal for Cazorla, who curled a 20-yard effort against the angle in the second half, which ended with a late breakaway goal from Poland striker Robert Lewandowski to give Dortmund a crucial victory in the battle for qualification from Group F.

Cazorla, just back from an injury lay-off, feels it is a partnership which can help drive the Gunners on to success this season.

''As the days go by we have a better association on the pitch," the Spain international said.

"We have got to know each other and I have to say that it is very easy to have a good understanding with a great player like him, since our playing philosophy is very similar.

''Mesut is a player of a different kind. He is a joy to watch and has a lot of talent. Like Zidane or Ronaldinho, he can be one of those players who marks an era.

''He is not the kind of player you are used to watching and he can win many games on his own, that is why he is a top player.''

The Gunners will not face anything like Jurgen Klopp's well-organised outfit when they tackle the managerless Eagles, who have managed just three points from eight league games.

Despite their setback in Europe, Arsenal have produced a consistent run of form in response to their defeat at home by Aston Villa on the opening day.

However, even though Arsene Wenger's men scored one of the best team goals in recent seasons when Jack Wilshere set them on the way to a 4-1 home win over Norwich last weekend, defender Per Mertesacker feels in any match, attack must be built from a solid rearguard.

''We know we are on a good run (in the Premier League), but we know it needs more than just playing with full freedom and vision - we need to defend first and then we can switch the rest on. You have seen what can happen after that,'' the centre-half said.

''We have players who can play so quickly together.

''Tomas Rosicky came in and fitted into everything as well as Mesut (Ozil) or Jack.

"When those three combined together, you could feel some magic in the air, a real chemistry."

Arsenal will check on the fitness of Wilshere, who was substituted as a precaution against Dortmund after aggravating his ankle, while Mathieu Flamini should be back in contention having been rested in midweek after suffering a mild concussion against Norwich.

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