LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 13, 2016: Arsenal's Mesut Ozil in action against Liverpool during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mesut Ozil a doubt for Arsenal as they prepare for trip to Liverpool

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil could be set to miss Saturday evening’s clash with Liverpool, with the German suffering from illness.

Ozil has been in varying form so far this season, but remains a key threat for the Gunners as they plot to continue their top-four push.

Taking on one of their main rivals for Champions League qualification at Anfield, however, Arsenal could be without the 28-year-old, according to reports on Wednesday afternoon.

The midfielder was sent home from training by their club doctor, having been struggling with “flu-like symptoms,” which could well see him ruled out for the trip to Merseyside.

Ozil has scored nine goals and assisted a further eight in 29 appearances in all competitions this season, but has only registered one assist in his last five games in the Premier League.

He has come under major criticism this season for his perceived lack of work rate, but his absence is still a major blow to Arsene Wenger.

On the other hand, it is set to be a big boost for Jurgen Klopp and the Reds, who could be able to prepare for Saturday’s clash without one of the opposition’s key players.

Egyptian defensive midfielder Mohamed Elneny is also out with injury, but Aaron Ramsey has returned to the fold, and could feature.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 14, 2016: Liverpool players celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Arsenal with manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool head into Saturday’s clash looking for a response after Monday night’s 3-1 defeat away to Leicester City, and will be encouraged by their excellent performance against Arsenal on the opening day of the season.

That day at the Emirates, two goals from Philippe Coutinho and further strikes from Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane, on his debut, consigned the Gunners to a 4-3 defeat.

The Reds immediately followed that with a 2-0 loss away to Burnley, however, and they will take the Clarets on at Anfield eight days after they face Arsenal.

Klopp is also facing a host of injury problems ahead of Saturday, with Jordan Henderson (foot) the most high-profile absentee.

Dejan Lovren (knee) and Daniel Sturridge (illness) could also be doubts, while Adam Bogdan (ACL), Ovie Ejaria (ankle) and Danny Ings (knee) are all ruled out with long-term problems.

Marko Grujic could come back into contention after a hamstring injury, but Klopp is likely to take a cautious approach to his recovery after months out.

Liverpool are still undefeated against their top-six rivals this season, and need a result against Arsenal to ensure their European hopes remain alive at this crucial stage.

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