FABIO BORINI hopes Sunderland can emerge from under the radar to scupper Mesut Ozil’s Arsenal debut this weekend.
The media spotlight will fall on Arsenal new boy Ozil at the Stadium of Light on Saturday after the German international completed a £40million deadline day move from Real Madrid to the Emirates.
Minutes before Ozil’s switch was confirmed, Borini finalised a season-long loan switch from Liverpool, with the 22-year-old expected to make his Sunderland bow against the Gunners.
Inevitably, Borini and Sunderland will not garner as much attention as Ozil in the build-up to the game.
But the Italian frontman believes that could work to Sunderland’s advantage by putting a weight of expectation on Arsenal’s record signing.
“The headlines are going to be around Ozil, but that puts a little bit of pressure on them because they’ve got this new player who they’ve spent a lot on,” said Borini.
“There will obviously be a lot of hype around him.
“But maybe that will be good because no-one will be focusing on us.
“It would be a big boost for me to be involved on Saturday. It would be my debut for the season because I wasn’t involved in Liverpool’s first three games.
“It’s obviously a big game against a top team too, against a side in the Champions League.
“But for us, it’s a chance after the first three games.
“Arsenal have got a very good team technically and we’ve got to try to be physical against them.”
Paolo Di Canio is expected to alter the make-up of his front line after Connor Wickham and Ji Dong-won both struggled to make an impression in Sunderland’s defeat at Crystal Palace, prior to the international break.
The Sunderland head coach has Jozy Altidore back at his disposal after the American international missed the Palace game through a hamstring niggle, while Steven Fletcher could also be handed a first start of the season after making his comeback at Selhurst Park.
But Borini insists he offers a contrasting option up front to either Altidore or Fletcher.
“I like to think my strengths are playing cleverly and being always on the move,” he added.
“I try to find space that other people can’t find.
“I work the channels and look to work on the shoulder of the defender.
“That makes it harder for the defender.
“Obviously, I’m not a player who relies on physical strength, but I have endurance strength. I can be moving for 90 minutes constantly.”