The World Cup hopes of a number of prominent Gunners rest on a big victory on Tuesday evening and a fan favourite wants to come out fighting…
Currently trailing by an aggregate score of two goals to nil, France need to produce the game of their World Cup qualifying campaign in order to drown Ukraine when the two nations collide at the Stade de France in Paris on Tuesday, November 19 to conclude their play-off.
Arsenal have a hat-trick of Gunners in the current Les Bleus squad including right-back Bacary Sagna, defender Laurent Koscielny and striker Olivier Giroud, while hound-dog midfielder Mathieu Flamini has also shown strong enough form this season to warrant a place in a 23-man selection.
However, all may miss out on a place at next summer's festival of football, hosted by Brazil, should France fail to defeat Ukraine by at least two goals.
One man who is ready to give it his all, who is 'ready to die' in order to safeguard France's spot at the 2014 World Cup, is Olivier Giroud, who has scored twice this season for The Blues during the nation's 6-0 rout over Australia.
The 27-year-old may need to be at his goal-scoring best tomorrow evening if France have a chance of progression. At a media conference yesterday, Sunday, he is quoted by The Guardian to have said: 'We are ready to die on the pitch, I have a lot of determination and I think it will help us get into them.'
He continued: 'We want to show the French people and ourselves that we are proud to represent France. We want to make proud all the people who love us and support us. I am offended [with the first-leg performance]. I want to redeem myself.
'They will give us exactly the same treatment on Tuesday. We won’t be surprised. They are going to hit us hard. We want to do better, to make history. It is a matter of pride. We’ll do it, I firmly believe. Today, I still can’t grasp the idea of France not going to Brazil.
'We must find the right balance, to continue to play our game. This is not easy because there will be a lot of tension, a lot of stress.
'This is the game of the year.'
Koscielny was dismissed during France's recent 2-0 loss to Ukraine, with Roman Zozulya and Andriy Yarmolenko both getting on the score-sheet.
image: © ronnie macdonald