Football

Alexis Sanchez nicknamed 'Duracell' by Arsenal stars

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Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has revealed that he and his teammates have nicknamed summer signing Alexis Sanchez 'Duracell' - on account of his determination and will-to-win.

Sanchez has been a revelation at the Emirates Stadium this season, scoring 18 goals in 32 appearances following his £35 million transfer from Barcelona last summer, and is already a firm favourites amongst the Gunners' faithful.

Speaking to TF1, Giroud says Arsenal must target Champions League glory and believes manager Arsene Wenger is assembling a squad capable of challenging for the biggest honours.

Giroud: Arsenal are targeting Champions League glory

"Winning the Champions League remains an objective. In recent years, our recruitment has been significant, we're building a team to challenge the biggest sides," Giroud revealed in his interview, according to ESPN.

"Alexis, we call him 'Duracell.' He allies talent and determination. Ozil, he's quietly strong: he's very calm, almost introverted, very at ease technically, and when his confidence is up, he makes the difference.

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"Cazorla reads the game very well. I have a special relationship with him, we arrived at the same time, we find each other very well. [Laurent] Koscielny holds things together at the back. He's surgical in his interventions, we're calmer when he's there."

Arsenal in form

Arsenal climbed to third in the Premier League table at the weekend following their 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The Gunners have won five of their previous six league fixtures and appear on course to secure a top-four finish for the 18th consecutive season.

AS Monaco clash

This Wednesday they face AS Monaco, Wenger's former club, in the Champions League last-16 first leg - and Arsenal fans will be looking to the likes of Sanchez, Ozil, Cazorla and Giroud himself to make the difference.

The north London outfit head into the two-legged tie as favourites to progress, and certainly possess the stronger squad on paper.

Monaco currently sit fourth in the Ligue 1 table but managed to finish top of their Champions League qualifying group ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, Zenit Saint Petersburg and Benfica.

Is this Arsenal's year?

Regardless, players of the calibre of Sanchez, Ozil and Cazorla - all arguably world class at their best - will be expected to help Arsenal see off their opponents on course to reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.

Some big names will fall by the wayside in Europe's premier club competition over the forthcoming weeks.

The likes of PSG and Bayern Munich are already in a spot of bother after last week's first legs, while Manchester City, Barcelona, Juventus and Atletico Madrid are amongst the clubs in action this week.

Could this be the year Arsenal lift the European Cup for the first time in their history?

They might not be favourites - but rule them off at your peril.

Let us know the answer to that question by leaving a comment in the box below - and tell us which of Arsenal's stars you believe are genuinely world class!

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez

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