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The Arsenal striker, who has struggled to score at the start of his first Premier League season, is ruled out with a muscular injury but could return for Tuesday's Belarus clash.

France boss Didier Deschamps has announced that Olivier Giroud will not be available to him for Friday's World Cup 2014 qualifier against Finland.

The French forward, who joined Arsenal this summer from Ligue 1 champion Montpellier, has been struggling with a muscle injury since joining up with the international squad.

However, Deschamps is hopeful that the 27-year-old will be fit for Les Bleus' subsequent match against Belarus on Tuesday.

“He will work apart [from the squad], which will allow him to play the next match [against Belarus]," the former Marseille coach told reporters on Thursday afternoon. “Considering it’s a muscle problem, it is better to give him more time. I would have preferred Olivier at full fitness, but [football] is like that.”

Real Madrid attacker Karim Benzema is expected to start as the lone striker against Helsinki without Giroud as competition for a starting berth in France's opening World Cup qualifier.


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