Olivier Giroud insists that Arsenal must be on guard against Montpellier despite the fact his former club’s chances of Champions League qualification have already been ended.
The Stade de la Mosson outfit currently sit 14th in the French top flight after a difficult start to the defence of their surprise title win but have put together a four game unbeaten run which sees their confidence building ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League showdown at the Emirates.
Having already caused Arsene Wenger’s squad all manner of headaches in France, Giroud made clear that his old teammates were well placed to prove tricky customers again.
“I’ll be happy to see them again,” the handsome striker told French radio station RTL. “This year, things have not gone quite so well for them – they have had less success, but they are getting better.
“It’s a must-win match for us, but Montpellier have nothing to lose now they are already eliminated. We have to be careful as that’s when some teams are most dangerous.
“They didn’t become champions of France with no talent. We must not take anything for granted.”
While Giroud may be wary of his former side, his former boss Rene Girard also admits he’s guarded about playing his in-form former charge.
Reflecting on the French international’s recent goal scoring run, the Montpellier coach told Reuters:
“He has been back on target. He went there to enjoy, to make things work, to score goals, and he knows how to score.
“We will try everything we can to prevent him from scoring against us.
“He is skilled, he is a hard-working guy, he wants to succeed and I have no doubts he will.”
A win for Arsenal coupled with a Schalke victory over Olympiakos will see both sides qualify tomorrow night, although it would leave the issue of first place out of the Gunners hands heading into the final fixture away in Athens.
Obviously that wouldn’t be ideal, but if Olympiakos beat or draw with Schalke tomorrow (no matter what Arsenal do vs Montpellier) it will leave all three sides able to qualify on the final day. While that scenario heightens a chances of us topping the group it doesn’t massively appeal given we’ve lost our only two away fixtures with the Greek giants and they’d have something to play for. A conundrum of sorts, but one out of our hands.
Let’s just win tomorrow night and see what happens.