Upton Park

Next Game

West Ham v Arsenal

Sunday, 28 December 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Emirates Stadium

Last Game

Arsenal 2 - 1 QPR

Friday, 26 December 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

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."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha in Arsenal's 2-1 win over QPR.

Premier League: Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky give 10-man Arsenal 2-1 win over QPR

Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky gave Arsenal a 2-1 win over QPR despite Olivier Giroud's second-half sending off.

Premier League: Manchester City respond to Chelsea's victory by winning at West Brom

Manchester City won 3-1 at West Brom to reduce the gap on Chelsea at the top of the Premier League back to three points.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

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