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Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann.

Antoine Griezmann benches Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud on Football Manager

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Antoine Griezmann had Olivier Giroud to thank for his second goal in France’s 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland last week.

The Arsenal striker performed a neat backwards header to tee up Griezmann, who coolly slotted home France’s winner.

However, if you thought Griezmann would feel a sense of gratitude towards his compatriot, think again.

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The Atletico Madrid star has been snapped playing Football Manager during rest periods at Euro 2016 and, after finding Lyon and Marseille too cash-strapped, decided to manage Arsenal.

And one of his first moves as Arsenal boss? To get rid of Giroud from the starting line-up.

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Griezmann takes charge of Arsenal (3:40)

One imagines Giroud might be having words with his international teammate when he learns that Griezmann demoted him to the bench after signing Romelu Lukaku from Everton.

Or perhaps Giroud might choose not to pass to the 25-year-old when France take on Iceland in Sunday’s quarter-final clash.

Joking aside, we’d love to see Griezmann attempting to explain his decision to the Arsenal forward.

Iceland clash

The pair will take to the field together as Les Bleus look to beat the surprise package of the Euros.

Iceland, a nation with a population the size of the city of Leicester, have actually drawn comparisons with Leicester City for their remarkable run to the last-eight.

But they’ll need to stop the tournament’s joint top-goalscorer if they are to have any chance of causing another upset.

Griezmann is level with Gareth Bale on three goals and will rely on more service from Giroud if he is to win the Golden Boot.

FBL-EURO-2016-MATCH40-FRA-IRL

Evra defended Giroud

The Arsenal man has taken some flak for his performances in France but has found support in the form of Patrice Evra, who believes criticism of Giroud reflects negatively on the entire France team.

"When I talk about Olivier Ground and the fans and journalists who criticise him; if you criticise Giroud then you are criticising the French team," Evra said, per Goal.

"It was Griezmann who scored the goals, but [Giroud] did the flick-on for the second goal against Ireland.

"You have to leave people alone. We have confidence in everyone. If Giroud is here it is because we need him and the trainer has confidence in him."

If Didier Deschamps’ team overcomes Iceland, they will take on the winners of Germany’s clash against Italy.

The way in which the knockout draw has worked out will leave France optimistic of winning their first international trophy since 2000 if they are able to reach the final.

Portugal, Wales and Belgium are all in the other half of the draw. Should France make it, they would fancy themselves against either nation.

Who will win Euro 2016? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Topics:
Zinedine Zidane
Football
Euro 2016
Arsenal

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