As the tournament edges closer to a conclusion, the four remaining countries are intensely training ahead of their semi-final ties at Euro 2016.
Arsene Wenger will be keeping a keen eye on the matches, not only because it involves his home nation France, but because four Arsenal players are also still in the competition.
Aaron Ramsey has been a standout performer in the Euros so far, providing 4 assists and 1 goal for overachievers Wales, but will unfortunately miss the Portugal game through suspension.
It is the other semi-final, however, that will have the Gunners boss glued to the television.
As Germany take on hosts France, the tie pits three Arsenal players against each other: German Mesut Ozil taking on the Frenchmen Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny.
And today, Giroud has been speaking cautiously about the tie, and specifically the threat his club teammate poses to the French defence.
“Ozil is a very talented player in terms of his passing and his vision for Arsenal and for Germany,” Giroud said of the player whose goal against Italy pushed the game into extra-time and then penalties.
“He likes to drift between the lines so you have to keep an eye on him. We will have to stop him.”
For a change, Ozil’s incredible ability will be working against Giroud, and the Frenchman is undoubtedly wary of the skills he possesses. In fact, Giroud may look to Laurent Koscielny, a first-team French defender, to use his knowledge of the playmaker from Arsenal training to suppress the German’s passing skills.
But nonetheless, Giroud ended the interview by saying: “I always give everything for my team”.
Clearly, the Arsenal striker is ready and looking forward to Thursday’s game. Wenger will be hoping, however, that no bad blood arises between the three Arsenal players involved, while maybe quietly praying that Giroud and Koscielny can get the better of Ozil on this occasion.
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