Cardiff City v Arsenal preview: Mesut Ozil set to return for Gunners
Watch live on Renault Super Sunday from 12.30pm on Sky Sports Premier League
Last Updated: 02/09/18 12:30pm
Mesut Ozil is set to return for Arsenal after illness as the Gunners travel to Cardiff in the Premier League, live on Renault Super Sunday from 12.30pm.
The 29-year-old midfielder missed last weekend's win over West Ham but has trained all week and is back in contention for a starting spot.
The 3-1 victory against the Hammers was Unai Emery's first in charge of Arsenal, and the Spaniard is hoping his side can continue this on Sunday.
"I am very, very happy firstly with the three points but then also how the team worked to win this match and how we finished the last few minutes," he said afterwards.
"I want to continue that in the next match against Cardiff, a different game, but just to continue our momentum."
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock insists he will not be suffering any sleepless nights just because his goal-shy side's next three opponents are Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.
"You say three. I'd say 33," Warnock replied when asked about Cardiff's tough run at his pre-match press conference. "You are looking at the teams, but if you'd let it worry you too much you'd never sleep at night.
"We've got to look at this as a challenge to try and create chances against the top teams. We know they will have a lot of possession and it won't be all down to us parking the bus, because these teams have great quality.
"But it could be worse, we could be in the Sky Bet Championship going all over the country. I'm definitely going to enjoy going to these stadiums and, at my age, I want to see my team playing good football."
Elsewhere for Arsenal, Laurent Koscielny (Achilles), Sead Kolasinac (knee), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (leg) and Carl Jenkinson (ankle) are missing, as Lucas Torreira pushes for his first start.
Cardiff have injury problems. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing has been ruled out for three months after damaging knee ligaments, and Junior Hoilett faces a fitness test on a groin injury that has sidelined him for two weeks.
Aron Gunnarsson will not return until after the international break because of a knee injury that has ended his hopes of linking up with Iceland following the Arsenal game.
Cardiff are winless in their last 13 games against Arsenal in all competitions (D5 L8), since a 3-2 away win in February 1961.
Arsenal won both previous Premier League meetings with Cardiff back in 2013-14, including a 3-0 triumph at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Four of Arsenal's five Premier League goals against Cardiff have come in the final five minutes of games.
Since Sean Morrison scored Cardiff's second goal against Hull City in April, the Bluebirds have failed to score with any of their 55 shots in league competition and are goalless in four league matches, their worst run since March 2014.
Cardiff are yet to play a single Welshman in the Premier League this season, giving 1,358 minutes to Englishmen, while opponents Arsenal - who are one of six clubs to have used a Welsh player this season (Aaron Ramsey) - have given fewer minutes to English players than any other side (50).
Matteo Guendouzi could become only the fourth teenager to start each of Arsenal's first four matches of a Premier League season, after Nicolas Anelka (1998-99), Cesc Fabregas (2004-05 and 2006-07) and Johan Djourou (2006-07).
Since scoring from a corner against West Ham in April, each of Arsenal's last 16 Premier League goals have all come from open play.
Arsenal have faced more shots on target than any other side in the Premier League so far this season (24).
I watch Arsenal play and I seriously think it's a charity match. It's so open, end to end, there's no tackling and it's like watching ex-professionals playing. I've not seen anything like it, the West Ham game was just unreal.
Cardiff will be loving this game; they live on scraps - a free-kick here, a corner there - and if they get enough of them they could cause an upset. If the game opens up and Arsenal can play then there's only one winner. I don't know why I've gone for 3-0, because I don't see how Cardiff can't score, and if they get enough free-kicks and corners before the end of the game Arsenal could shoot themselves in the foot.
The first goal is massive - that's not even the word, Cardiff haven't scored yet. If you didn't know [Unai] Emery wasn't there, you'd think Arsene Wenger was still manager. But Emery doesn't have the personnel, this is the way the players have played since year dot. It's hard to change things that quickly. It's hard work doing this press, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work during the week. And it won't work against Cardiff, as they get the ball forward quickly. Arsenal have to move it quickly and attack quickly too.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3 (10/1 with Sky Bet)
Cardiff are 19/4 outsiders with Sky Bet as Arsenal are priced at 8/15 to claim three points, while the draw is 3/1. Bobby Reid is considered the hosts' main threat at 8/1 to score the first goal of the afternoon, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is 11/4 favourite to notch the first goal. The Gunners are yet to keep a clean sheet this year so they stand at 13/8 to win to nil in Cardiff.