Olivier Giroud has urged Arsenal to start Sunday's tie "on the front foot" - or risk suffering an FA Cup shock.
Middlesbrough arrive at Emirates Stadium fresh from a stunning 2-0 win at Manchester City in the fourth round of the competition and Giroud is determined not to be on the receiving end of a similar surprise.
"They will really want to beat us so we are really cautious and we want to start the game on the front foot"
"If they are here it’s because they succeeded in beating a great team like City, so we need to be aware of that," Giroud told Arsenal Player. "We need to play our game straight away from the beginning and not let them take confidence.
"It will be a tough game, especially in the FA Cup. We know that even though a team is playing in an inferior division, they will really want to beat us at home, especially Arsenal. We are really cautious and we want to start the game on the front foot.
"Every game is a tough game in the FA Cup. It’s always a big fight. We have the spirit because we won it last year, we have more experience maybe and hopefully we will keep this trophy with us."
Giroud joined Arsenal a little under three years ago but, if things had panned out differently, he could have been a Boro player.
"Yes, that’s true," smiled Giroud. "Middlesbrough and Celtic [also wanted to sign me]. It was a great team… today they are close to coming back into the English Premier League. It will be nice to play against them and it will remind me of my previous years in Tours."
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