'England are afraid of France' - Arsenal striker Giroud starts World Cup mind games

Getty Images
France are aiming to improve on their last World Cup performance by reaching the semi-finals of Russia 2018, according to Olivier Giroud.

France striker Olivier Giroud has said that Les Bleus are aiming to reach "at least" the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and claimed England are "particularly afraid" of Didier Deschamps' side.

The 1998 winners have been drawn in Group C and will face Australia, Peru and Denmark as they look to improve on 2014's march to the quarter-finals, where they were beaten 1-0 by Germany.

Giroud scored four goals in eight appearances as France ran out winners of World Cup qualifying Group A ahead of Sweden and the Netherlands.

The 31-year-old expressed his belief in the talent available to Deschamps, and also indicated he had gauged the mood of the England internationals he plays alongside at Emirates Stadium.

"We obviously want to get out of this group, but I have always respected my opponents throughout my career," Giroud told RMC Sport. "It's nice to talk, but doing it will be a different story.

"I said a few weeks ago that I would like to do better than 2014, so I'm aiming for at least the semi-finals.

"In England in the locker room, I know they are particularly afraid of us because we have a fairly talented generation, with very good players."

Peru pose an unknown threat for Giroud, but he has already sought advice from Arsenal's Colombia international David Ospina.

Article continues below

"At first glance, compared to other teams on which we could have fallen, it is rather a favourable draw, even if I am a little suspicious of this team from Peru in particular," he added.

"I discussed it with David Ospina and he told me [Peru] was a good team.

"We are used to playing the Danes, but Australia is a team we know a little less with a footballing style that is a little different, but who will be tough."