Mikel Arteta is keeping his fingers crossed that Olivier Giroud stays fit as Arsenal look to build on their excellent start to the season.
The duo netted the goals in the Gunners’ latest league victory – 2-0 at Crystal Palace – to secure a seventh Premier League win of the campaign.
Despite suffering an opening-day defeat to Aston Villa, Arsene Wenger’s men top the league table after nine games and entertain third-placed Liverpool on Sunday.
French forward Giroud has bagged eight goals in all competitions this campaign. The former Montpellier marksman is now settled into London life and recapturing the devastating form he displayed during two goal-laden seasons in Ligue 1.
And Arteta recognises the importance of the 27-year-old with fellow front-men Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott currently nursing injuries on the sidelines.
Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo, the Spaniard said: “I think we are going to need him for sure during the season. We are short up there because Lukas is out and so is Theo. We haven't got many options up front, so touch wood he stays fit."
Arsenal recently set a new club record of 12 consecutive away wins, which began with March’s 2-0 win at European Cup winners Bayern Munich.
The Gunners have lost just once in the league since their season-opening setback at Emirates Stadium, and Arteta is encouraged by his side’s start to 2013/14 as they seek trophy success once again.
“So far things are going well. We are working hard to stay there and I think it is great the way we have done it,” he said.
“In recent years we've struggled in the first 10-15 fixtures so it is amazing for us with how well we're doing now, a big relief. We want to maintain it, and I think we have the quality to do so.”
We spoke to Mikel Arteta at the Mountain Dew Xbox One Game Zone. Win exclusive Microsoft Xbox One prizes on packs of Mountain Dew now. Click here