Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has called for his teammates to show their mental strength during tonight’s game against Olympiacos, and admitted that anything less than 100% will not be good enough (via ESPN). Arsenal head into the game in Piraeus needing to win by a two goal margin to qualify, while Olympiacos will go through in any other case.
Giroud, who has monopolised the striker position following the injury to Theo Walcott, is one of the key players tonight. He has been in rather consistent form, scoring in almost every game over the past couple of months. The manager will be expecting him to continue that streak tonight as well, and Giroud will have his work cut out for him against the home side who will no doubt be set up to defend.
Speaking to L’Equipe, the France international said, “It’s a group that was in our range and we put ourselves in difficulty by losing our first two matches. Now, we have the chance to show our mental strength … we’ll have to be at 100 percent because 95 percent won’t be sufficient.
“We have 40 percent of our team missing. But we have a more well-equipped squad than in previous years. The guys who have replaced them did the job at the weekend, like Jo [Campbell]. We know that we have the quality to impose ourselves there.”
Among the absentees tonight are Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez, who will all be missed as we look to pull off a remarkable comeback in Group F. But this is a hole that Arsenal have dug for themselves, after failing to win away against Dinamo Zagreb and losing at home to Olympiacos. If we are to prove our credentials, there is no better opportunity than tonight; and the players will also be motivated by the fact that our 15 year qualification record is on the line. Hopefully, we will be able to score the needed goals and take second place in the group behind Bayern Munich.