GIROUD SET TO BE REWARDED WITH STARTING POSITION VS PSG
ARSENE WENGER is ready to recall Olivier Giroud to his starting line-up for tomorrow’s Champions League decider with Paris St.Germain.
Giroud has grown increasingly frustrated at his lack of Arsenal game time this season
But now Wenger believes the powerful target man is finally ready to make an impact after being left stewing on the bench.
And he is set to shift top scorer Alexis Sanchez back out wide to accommodate Giroud’s return against the French Champions.
Giroud, 30, has only started one match for Arsenal this season and managed just four hours and ten minutes of football in total.
But he has also scored four priceless goals in his last four appearances, including Saturday’s last-gasp equaliser at Manchester United.
Now Wenger wants to use Giroud’s physical presence to unsettle PSG from the start.
Wenger has not forgotten how his team were in danger of being overrun by the French Champions at the Parc des Princes in their opening Champions League encounter in September.
He also remembers that it was the introduction of Giroud as a second-half sub which turned the match on its head and created the space for Sanchez to equalise.
Now Arsenal can win their Champions League group for the first time since 2011 by beating PSG at the Emirates tomorrow.
The teams are currently neck and neck at the top of Group A on ten points from four games, with Arsenal leading on goal difference.
But though both teams are already assured of their place in the last 16, Wenger wants to guarantee top spot to secure an easier draw in the next round.
Victory tomorrow night would render their final group game away to Basel meaningless and allow Arsenal the chance to rest some of their weary stars.
That is why Wenger is ready to go for broke by starting with Giroud in the middle and Sanchez on the left wing.
Arsenal are currently unbeaten in 17 matches since losing their opening day Premier League fixture at home to Liverpool.
And Giroud knows just how important it is to maintain that run.
“It’s a good momentum and we needed to show a strong character to come back after conceding the first goal,” he said following his towering Old Trafford header.
“When I came on the boss told me just to give the maximum, to try to bring my small cog to the big machine, defend from set-pieces and run to make my team-mates play.
The big french man added:I try to give solutions to my team-mates because we were a bit tired at the end of the match so I tried to bring something different, especially in the air.
“Even if we wanted to win at Old Trafford, it was important that we didn’t lose and now we must carry on this good run.
“Now we want to focus on the Champions League game on Wednesday night and we need take the three points at home.”
Aaron Ramsey is likely to make way for Giroud’s return tomorrow night, when Arsenal will also be without the injured Santi Cazorla and Hector Bellerin.