The Frenchman, who played for both clubs, has told the holders that nullifying the German should see them progress comfortably in the Champions League
Arsenal will be “practically dead” if Barcelona can nulify Mesut Ozil in Tuesday’s Champions League clash, according to Thierry Henry.
The German has enjoyed an outstanding season, leading the Premier League assists charts on the way to potentially breaking Henry’s record of 20 in a season, and was rested against Hull City in the FA Cup.
Wenger has confirmed Ozil will return for the last-16 first-leg match and Henry, who represented both clubs during his playing career, believes the former Real Madrid man is vital to Arsenal’s hopes of an upset.
“Ozil is incredible, he has a ton of assists,” he told Barca’s official website. “He is playing very, very, very well, as he used to at Madrid. After two very difficult seasons he’s doing very well.
“If you can stop Ozil, Arsenal are practically dead.”
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Henry expects Arsenal to set out to blunt Barcelona in a similar approach which saw Bayern defeated during the group stage, though he warned they must take a positive result to Camp Nou for the return leg.
“I think Arsenal will play as they did against Bayern Munich at home,” he said. “They will defend and try to score goals on the counter-attack. It’s not easy to play with the ball against Barca.
“They fight a lot. In the past, Arsenal couldn’t win a game if they didn’t play well. But this year, they are winning games without playing well and sometimes without the ball, it happened against Bayern, against Manchester City, against Manchester United.
“They have to do something at home before coming to Camp Nou. When the crowd is good, on a Champions League night, it’s not easy to just defend for 90 minutes.
“It’s not easy for my team, Arsenal, but on the other hand I love Barca a lot. It’s very difficult. It won’t be easy, but I’m going with Barca.”