Mesut Ozil Faces Fight For Fitness Ahead of League Cup Final

Mesut Ozil is facing a fight for fitness ahead of the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday (February 26), according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal make the short journey to Wembley Stadium following the second leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie against Ostersunds on Thursday, a game they lead 3-0 already.

Wenger says Ozil is recovering from illness and will not feature at the Emirates but expects him to have recovered for the cup final.

"Mesut was sick until today [Wednesday], today was his first training session. He was in bed Monday, Tuesday. I would certainly have played him," Wenger said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

"Because he was sick he will have to work hard tomorrow and I will not play him. He should be okay for Sunday."

Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil at Wembley Stadium, London, February 10. Ozil has been unwell but is expected to recover for the League Cup final. IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty

The League Cup is the only trophy that has evaded Wenger in his 22 years as manager at Arsenal, having won the Premier League three times and FA Cup seven.

While Wenger expects Ozil to feature in his starting line-up, he has also said that Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina will be between the posts for the final.

Ospina has featured in every game so far in the competition this season, apart from the 2-1 win over Doncaster when Matt Macey took his place.

Wenger says he will resist the temptation to turn to Petr Cech, his number one choice for the Premier League, as Ospina has featured in all the cup competitions.

"It's always a difficult decision but I think we are clear about that since the start of the season," he said.

"I have two world class goalkeepers and decided from the start to have clarity about the games they play."

Another injury concern for Wenger is Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who trained with teammates on Wednesday but is not going to feature in the Europa League due to a groin strain.

"He's not in the squad tomorrow," Wenger said. "He had a good training session but he's a bit short for tomorrow. We'll see how his evolution goes now from today until Sunday.

"I don't rule him out yet, it depends on how well he can improve with the intensity of training until Sunday."