The last few months have been extremely up-and-down for Olivier Giroud.

Having played fairly well for Chelsea, he struggled offensively at the World Cup, but still ended up with a winners’ medal.

Even though he played a vital role in that France side, he became a figure of ridicule for the footballing world.

France v Netherlands - UEFA Nations League A
(Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

After returning from the World Cup, Giroud has seen his opportunities limited by Maurizio Sarri.

He has played only 70 minutes of Premier League football this year – all from the bench – with Sarri favouring the goal-shy Alvaro Morata.

Despite his lack of game-time, Giroud started twice for France in the Nations League and, after scoring his 32nd goal for Les Bleus against the Netherlands, he passed Zinedine Zidane to become France’s fourth highest goal-scorer.

France v Netherlands - UEFA Nations League A
(Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

But Chelsea’s clash with Cardiff on Saturday could be the perfect time to hand Giroud his first start of the season.

Neil Warnock’s side earned promotion last year playing an extremely physical brand of football. And Morata has struggled when playing against imposing centre-backs, often resulting in him protesting helplessly to the referees.

Southampton v Chelsea - Premier League
(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

But Giroud’s own brand of physical football could give Chelsea another edge this Saturday.

He would provide a focal point that Morata would not be able to, and could bring other players into the game.

Giroud’s one-touch exchanges are excellent at inter-linking the play, which would help Eden Hazard and Pedro to find space.

Giroud could also prove vital defensively as Chelsea look to maintain their great start.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League
(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Chelsea have had a history of strikers who are excellent from defensive set-pieces, such as Didier Drogba and Diego Costa.

And, with Warnock’s side well-versed from corners and free-kicks, Giroud may provide defensive cover.

Giroud’s physicality offers something completely different to Morata, so do not be surprised if he starts on Saturday.

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