Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that Olivier Giroud was dropped from Wednesday's Champions League tie with Bayern Munich as part of a "refreshment plan", aimed at keeping the striker fit and firing towards the business end of the campaign.
Giroud has failed to make the starting line-up in either of Arsenal's last two matches, with young forward Yaya Sanogo surprisingly given a chance to shine against Liverpool in the FA Cup last weekend, contributing to a vital 2-1 victory.
Sanogo kept his place for the Bayern clash but Wenger is adamant that a shock snub had nothing to due with Giroud's late-night antics with model Celia Kay before Arsenal's game with Crystal Palace, attempting to safeguard the French international for future exertions later in the campaign.
Wenger told the club's official website: "It is likely Giroud will be involved tomorrow. Resting him was part of a refreshment plan."
Giroud has lead the line with authority at the Emirates for the much of the campaign, scoring 14 goals in all competitions, but has recently experienced a drop in form at a crucial point in the season.
The 27-year-old is expected to be involved tomorrow afternoon as Arsenal's attention turns back to the Premier League, with Sunderland the opponents in a clash which Wenger's men will desperate to take maximum points from.