Olivier Giroud says he relishes the "big battle" that comes with competing against Premier League defenders.

The France international has scored 18 goals so far in 2015/16 - his best
tally at this stage of a season with Arsenal.

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Olivier Giroud is on the front of the February magazine
Olivier Giroud is on the front of the February magazine

Giroud believes that statistic is connected to him coping with the physical demands of spearheading the attack.

I enjoy the battle, it's always correct and with fair play and at the end of the game we always shake hands and say 'well done'

"I always try to help the team hold up the ball up front," he told the Arsenal Magazine. "That's part of my job and it's what I like to do.

"I think I'm doing quite well in that part of my job. I try to keep the ball for the team, or other times I try to deflect it.

"So that means winning headers or going for the flick-on. Sometimes I like to hold possession too which is important for the team to give the defence an opportunity to get up.

"It's one of my specialities, if I can say.

"I enjoy the battle, it's always correct and with fair play and at the end of the game we always shake hands and say 'well done'. So it's always done in a good mood.

"Especially with Gary Cahill at Chelsea it's always a tough battle, very physical, and with people like Ryan Shawcross too.

"They are very strong, and play a lot with their bodies so it's always nice to compete with them."

Olivier Giroud celebrates
Olivier Giroud celebrates

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Nik Brumsack 4 Feb 2016