By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes

Mesut Ozil has been rested by Arsenal ahead of the club’s midweek clash against Premier League rivals Liverpool.

The in-form German playmaker was not named in the matchday 18 for the Gunner’s FA Cup third round clash against Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.

Manager Arsene Wenger has selected a mixture of first-teamers and fringe players to face Sam Allardyce’s side as he also rests Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Flamini from the squad.

Wenger said at his pre-match media briefing on Friday that he was considering given a much-needed breather to Ozil.

Football Insider revealed on 2 January that Ozil led Arsenal’s title charge over the festive period despite struggling with a virus.

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Ozil delivered man-of-the-match displays in the Gunners’ wins over Manchester City and Bournemouth to take Arsene Wenger’s team to the Premier League summit.

However, an Arsenal source told Football Insider that the German playmaker was affected by a heat virus and hardly trained over the past fortnight due to the condition, which was later confirmed by Wenger.

The Gunners’ £40million record signing has been one of the standout players in the Premier League this season, supplying 16 assists, eight more than his closest rival Kevin de Bruyne and just four adrift of Thierry Henry’s record of 20 in a single campaign.