Emirates Stadium

Next Game

Arsenal v Galatasaray

Wednesday, 01 October 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group D

Emirates Stadium

Last Game

Arsenal 1 - 1 Tottenham

Saturday, 27 September 2014, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Giroud excited by play-off tie

Olivier Giroud is relishing the prospect of big-match drama as France head into their World Cup play-off against Ukraine.

Last Updated: 12/11/13 at 15:08 Post Comment

Olivier Giroud: Turning his attention to France's World Cup hopes

Olivier Giroud: Turning his attention to France's World Cup hopes

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

The Arsenal striker has usurped Karim Benzema to become first choice in Didier Deschamps' preferred one-striker formation for France, and may be asked to lead the line in home and away clashes over the coming week.

His team-mate for club and country, Laurent Koscielny, has remarked that Giroud may be feeling the physical stress of a hectic start to the season, given that he has played more minutes for Arsenal than any other outfield player.

But the sense of occasion has put a spring in Giroud's step for the crucial matches that will determine whether France reach the finals in Brazil.

Assessing what lies ahead, Giroud said: "A little bit of pressure, excitement. You're going to play perhaps the most important two matches of your young career.

"We mustn't underestimate (Ukraine) but we have the experience to get through. It's a great generation, we have a young team."

Speaking on the French federation's website, Giroud said: "We'll play our game with our quality and I have high hopes.

"We want to feel this tension of the big evenings, the big matches."

Kiev on Friday night promises to present France with an intimidating environment, but it could have been worse for France, who stand one place behind 20th-ranked Ukraine in the FIFA rankings.

They might have been handed a draw against Portugal, who with Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks will instead tackle Sweden.

"Ukraine is a relatively good draw, without wishing to disrespect them," Giroud said on ledauphine.com.

France defeated co-hosts Ukraine 2-0 during Euro 2012, on a memorably stormy night in Donetsk.

This time they head to the capital, and the 70,000-capacity Olympic Stadium.

"At the Euros we played a serious match, we were solid. But over there we expect a great atmosphere," Giroud said.

"More than anything we mustn't concede a goal. And afterwards, we'll have the return leg at our place.

"We will need to be supported (in the second leg) as we are in the parts of the country where the people are less used to watching us."

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

put Ince in my fantasy football team, so it's no surprise at all really. I do that to players. Also responsible for De Jong and Upson being injured. Think I'll transfer in Di Maria just to ruin United....

megabrow (cufc)
F365's Top Ten Surprise Strugglers

L

ovren? £20m always seemed a touch on the expensive side, but I wasn't expecting him to be quite such a waste of money

stevenjameshyde
F365's Top Ten Surprise Strugglers

H

alf of our players have the physical presence of a 14 year old girl. I don't know why people are always shocked that they're injured.

TheWhiz
Wenger baffled by injuries

Footer 365

PSG stun Barca, Bayern stay 100%

PSG edged to an entertaining 3-2 Champions League win over Barcelona, while Bayern Munich beat CSKA Moscow and BATE stunned Athletic Bilbao.

Champions League: Manchester City held to home draw by Roma

Manchester City endured yet another night of Champions League frustration as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Roma.

Champions League: Nemanja Matic earns three points for Chelsea against Sporting Lisbon in Group G

Nemanja Matic's header earned Chelsea three away points against Sporting Lisbon in UEFA Champions League Group G.

Mail Box

#Usingfootballersnamesineverydaylife

We have the last of these as well as mails on Liverpool, Wayne Rooney, QPR, Arsenal's injuries and more. It's a mailbox that's Alonso rather than Rafael, if you will...

How Much In 'Pounds Raheem Sterling'?

A whole lot of you use footballers' names in everyday life. And you hate yourselves for it. As you should. We also have mails on Newcastle, Rooney and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property