December 6 2013 Latest news:
Friday, November 1, 2013
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is in no doubt “real centre-forward” Olivier Giroud will turn on the style again when the Frenchman looks to win the battle of the strikers against Liverpool frontman Luis Suarez at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Had things turned out differently this summer, then controversial Uruguay forward Suarez could well have been leading the Gunners attack, rather than netting six times in the five games since returning to action for the Reds from a 10-match ban imposed after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
However, in Giroud Arsenal also posses a serious goal threat of their own, with the former Montpellier frontman taking his tally to eight with a late header which sealed a 2-0 win for the 10-man Gunners at Crystal Palace last weekend.
Wenger is confident Giroud will not get lost in the hype surrounding comparisons with Suarez as his team focus on producing the required response following their midweek Capital One Cup defeat by Chelsea and look to stay top of the Premier League.
“If some clubs were interested in buying him [Suarez], then it is because he was playing quite well, but what is important for me are the players who play for Arsenal tomorrow against Luis Suarez,” Wenger said.
“I believe that Giroud has proven since the start of the season that he is an exceptional striker and I am convinced that he will be up for it.
“They have different styles.
“Giroud is a real centre-forward who uses his power - he is really central. Suarez is more a player who goes on the flanks and is more a dribbler.”
Wenger continued: “I think our target is to have the ball and master the situation because we are dominating and we have more of the ball than our opponents - and if we have the ball a lot we do not need to worry too much about our opponents and that will be the target tomorrow.”
Arsenal will have midfielder Mikel Arteta back from suspension after his red card against Crystal Palace.
Combative midfielder Mathieu Flamini, though, remains sidelined with his groin problem as does Serge Gnabry (ankle), while Theo Walcott is still recovering from minor abdominal surgery.