Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has been omitted from the squad to face Sunderland in the Premier League this afternoon according to Goal.com, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger deciding to give the under-fire playmaker a rest.
Ozil endured a difficult evening against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night in the Champions League, with the German international missing a penalty kick he had won himself after drawing a foul from Jerome Boateng inside the penalty area.
A casual spot kick was parried easily by Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Ozil struggled to cope with that disappointment, which helped the Champions League holders secure a 2-0 first-leg advantage with victory at the Emirates.
Wenger has reportedly reacted to that blow by taking Ozil out of the spotlight today, giving the 25-year-old the weekend off which included a surprise absence from training on Friday.
Ozil's workload has certainly been heavy during a hectic fortnight for the Gunners on three fronts, completing the full 90 minutes four times in 11 days against the likes of Liverpool, Bayern and Manchester United.
Arsenal will now have to rely on the likes of Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta for creative impetus against the Black Cats, with three points an absolute neccesity to keep pace with Manchester City and Chelsea in the title race.