LONDON (Reuters) – Arsenal can go top of the Premier League table, for 24 hours at least, if they beat Everton on Saturday with manager Arsene Wenger in the enviable position of deciding which of his in-form players will lead his attack.
Theo Walcott is expected to lead the frontline for a sixth straight game but Frenchman Olivier Giroud showed his worth by scoring his fourth goal as a substitute this season in the 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.
“Its always hard, honestly, because they are two top players,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters on Friday.
“I consider the form and the game of the day but at the end of the season both will have played their share of games.
“At the moment it is Theo (starting) and in a few weeks it might be Giroud, but what is most important is that they both contribute.”
With Walcott, who has scored four times this season, Arsenal look to use the Englishman’s pace in behind on the counter but adopt a more direct approach when the taller Frenchman is in the side.
Against Bayern on Tuesday, which Arsenal won with late goals from Giroud and Mesut Ozil, the breakthrough came after Giroud replaced Walcott in the 74th minute.
Giroud pounced to score from a Santi Cazorla free-kick three minutes after coming on before Ozil scored the second with the last kick of the game.
“On Tuesday night we based our game on counter-attack and it nearly worked and in the last part of the game we based it on longer ball,” Wenger said.
Arsenal are on a good run having won five of their last six games in all competitions, and will move up from second if they win because current leaders Manchester City and third-placed Manchester United do not meet until Sunday.
City have 21 points, Arsenal and United both have 19 and the Gunners start as clear favourites against an Everton side who were well beaten 3-0 by United last week. Arsenal beat United 3-0 on Oct.4.
“If you want to play at the top of the Premier League you have to do well at home in big games,” Wenger said.
“Our target on Saturday is to take advantage of it, because we play before everybody else.”
(Reporting by Mike Collett. Editing by Patrick Johnston)