Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has praised Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud’s ‘unsurprising’ impressive form ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final.
The 33-year-old will face his former club in a cup final once again and, given his recent record, he would be the one to watch for the North London side.
Giroud has been Frank Lampard’s first-choice No.9 since the Premier League restart, netting seven times in his last 10 appearances.
Arsenal boss Arteta clearly understands the threat Giroud could pose and, although he is happy for his former teammate’s good form, certainly hopes it won’t be the case tomorrow.
Arteta told the media (via Arsenal’s official website): “With Oli you can see in the last few months how he is performing, the amount of goals he has scored for them.
“We know him, he has the experience in the finals as well.
“I’m not surprised [by Giroud’s form], because I know Oli. He is a fighter. Even when he was playing for us and he had some difficult moments, he always reacted.
“He always works really hard and comparing with the greatest [forwards the club has had] is like always.
“I’m glad that he is doing really well, but hopefully tomorrow he won’t do that well.”
Looking at the past 10 encounters between the two London sides, Chelsea have had the upper hand; winning three and drawing five of those games (Chelsea’s official website).
Chelsea being the favourites does not really concern Arteta, however.
“I don’t know, it’s a final,” he added.
“The only aim , the only focus, and all our energy is going to be on winning that trophy, it doesn’t matter where we start.”