By Rob Kelly
Olivier Giroud admits it will be "special" to face his former club Montpellier on Tuesday night - but says he will keep any potential goal celebrations to a minimum.
The France international returns to the Stade de la Mosson for the first time in Arsenal’s opening fixture in this season’s Champions League.
It will be an emotional occasion for the striker, who helped his former club win the Ligue 1 title last year, and he is looking forward to the match.
“To return to Montpellier is very special because I spent two very happy years there which were fantastic,” Giroud said. “Montpellier is a family club and I left a lot of friends behind - everybody who works at the club and the players.
“I spent a beautiful, wonderful season there last year when we were champions and won the title. It was a fantastic achievement for Montpellier to win the French championship and there was a lot of emotion when we won.
“It will be difficult for me to play against Montpellier, because there is a lot of emotion and I have so many good memories of last season. I left a lot of friends and it’s going to be great to see them.
“But only after the game will I talk to anyone. This is an important match and I will be concentrating on it. I will not speak with my friends until afterwards.”
Giroud has yet to get off the mark to Arsenal, but says were he to score at his former club his celebrations would be muted.
“I want to score in every match, but if I score against Montpellier I will keep the celebration small,” he said. “That is normal for anybody, for the club and Montpellier fans. It will be out of my respect to my old club
“I’m an Arsenal player and I want to score and to win this game for Arsenal. It will be my first game in the Champions League, so I want to win it.
“Of course we are playing against Montpellier, but it is an important game for Arsenal and I have to forget it’s Montpellier for 90 minutes.”Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source