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Arsenal are sweating over the fitness of Olivier Giroud ahead of the north London derby after the striker picked up a knock during France’s friendly victory over Wales on Friday night in Paris.
The 31-year-old netted yet again for Les Blues in a 2-0 win, moving just one goal shy of Jean-Pierre Papin and Just Fontaine in France’s all-time scoring charts with 29 goals for his country. But just two minutes after scoring, Giroud was withdrawn from the match, and was later spotted with heavy bandaging wrapped around his thigh, also applying an icepack to his leg.
According to French publication L’Equipe, Giroud actually suffered the problem during the warm up but nevertheless went on to make his 69th appearance, and the forward confirmed the injury afterwards. ‘It will be difficult [to play against Wales],’ Giroud admitted afterwards.
‘It’s a small muscular problem. I put on a strap and took one or two anti-inflammatories and it allowed me to play [against Wales]. I cannot tell you more for Tuesday at the moment.’ France take on Germany in Cologne on Tuesday, though it will be Arsenal’s home match against Tottenham – the first league match back after the international break – that he will not want to miss.
The Gunners host Spurs at the Emirates on Saturday November 18, giving Giroud a week to recover, and he is expected to undergo more tests on Saturday to ascertain the full extent of the problem. Giroud was replaced against Wales by club teammate Alexandre Lacazette – who has usurped Giroud in the Arsenal starting XI – in the 73rd minute and, fortunately for Arsene Wenger, got through his short cameo unscathed.