Europa League
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Although Olivier Giroud is not considered to be one of the most prolific strikers in the world, he is the joint-top scorer in this season’s Europa League. When Chelsea face-off against his former club Arsenal, he will have the chance of moving clear of Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic to claim the Europa League Golden Boot, something that Betfair have him as the favorite to do.

He has been used more as a substitute during Premier League games this season, with both Alvaro Morata and Gonzalo Higuain being preferred up front during their time at the Blues. In seven starts and 20 substitute appearances in the league, Giroud managed just two goals. But Chelsea know that they can rely on the Frenchman for firepower in Europe and he could potentially score the winner against the Gunners.

Underrated by Arsenal

Giroud arrived at Arsenal off the back of a great season for Montpellier in Ligue 1, where he scored 21 goals as he helped the French club to the Ligue 1 title, the first in their history. He joined Arsenal in the summer for a fee believed to have been around £9.5 million.

In his first season in north London, he produced 11 goals in 34 games in the Premier League, and 17 goals in 47 appearances across all competitions. While he may have had a slow start to life in English football, his second season was far more impressive, with a return of 16 goals in 36 games.

Although Arsenal fans may have been waiting for him to hit that 20 goal mark in the league, which failed to materialize. The best he ever got with Arsenal was 16, on two occasions. He might not have lived up to the expectations placed on him, but that doesn’t mean he should have been so easily discarded by Arsenal, particularly to a rival.

Chelsea arrival

When Giroud arrived at Chelsea in January 2018, he knew that his role at the club would be to play a back up to Alvaro Morata. With Premier League experience and a goal or two in him, Chelsea stumped up £18 million to prise him away from the Gunners.

Although he may have only scored five goals in 40 Premier League appearances for the Blues, his goals in the Europa League have been invaluable this season. In the group stage, he netted the winner against BATE in a 1-0 win, and later scored a 75th minute equalizer against Hungarian club Vidi to secure a point for the Blues.

Golden Boot winner?

With Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic no longer in the competition, should Giroud score just one goal in the final, he will move clear in the race to win the Europa League Golden Boot. He will have to be wary of Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is still in the race for the award himself.

The Gabonese striker is just two goals shy of Giroud at the present moment and while it’s unlikely he’ll net a hat-trick against Chelsea, he did manage a brace at the end of the Premier League season to draw level with Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

If Giroud can walk away with a Europa League winner’s medal and the Golden Boot, there’s no doubt that he can claim it’s been a stellar season for him.

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