Olivier Giroud has revealed his burning desire to win the Premier League this season and insists that Chelsea still have a chance to join the title race.
Liverpool picked up their first domestic crown in 30 years last term, finishing 18 points clear at the top of the table ahead of previous champions Manchester City.
Jurgen Klopp’s side became the only team to have ever secured the trophy with seven games to spare, but they have not been able to match that kind of consistency in the first half of the 2020-21 campaign.
Although the Reds have reached the summit again after 16 fixtures, they are only in first place on goal difference ahead of Manchester United with a tough trip to Southampton up next on Monday night.
Chelsea have slipped seven points behind the Merseyside outfit after a run of just one win from their last five games, and cannot afford to lose any more ground when they welcome City to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
It has been suggested that the Blues are now playing for a spot in the top four, but Giroud still believes the Premier League is up for grabs and he is determined to pick up the prize for the first time in his illustrious career come May.
“Because of the fact Liverpool is not flying like the two previous years we can join the title race, that’s my target,” the French striker told Chelsea’s official website. “Obviously we need to learn from the disappointing results but we’re not going to change our target because it’s very tight. I also really want to win this Premier League, it’s something I want a lot.”
Asked why Liverpool have been unable to pull away again this season, Giroud responded: “Firstly because there are no fans in the stadiums so maybe the smaller teams, if I can say that on paper, when they come to places like the Bridge or Anfield or the Emirates against the big teams they maybe play with less pressure.
“It is easier, that would explain the fact the Premier League is tight this year because of no fans, and also because nowadays the football has improved a lot and the smaller teams have improved a lot. The difference between the small teams and the big teams now is getting smaller and smaller.”
Giroud was forced to play second fiddle to summer signing Timo Werner at the start of the campaign, but has gradually worked his way back into Frank Lampard’s starting XI.
The 34-year-old’s current contract is due to expire in June, but he insists he is quite content in his current surroundings amid strong competition for places.
“Nine goals in six starts is not bad, it’s a good stat for a striker,” Giroud added.
“We all look for the best statistics. The more efficient we are, the better for the team and obviously we have a lot of talented strikers and it’s always a headache for the manager to pick and choose the right one, with different qualities up front and with also a good understanding and complement between strikers and wingers.
“The competition is good for everybody. It’s nice to step up and to stay focused and give your best to stay in the team. For me I’m very happy with scoring nine goals in six starts but I’ve got to keep it up to help the team achieve our targets.
“As an experienced player, I’ve been nine years now in the Premier League so I know the league very well, I just try to give advice when the younger players want it.
“If they need anything they know I’m a good shoulder they can step on. I just want the best for the team, I just want to win this Premier League and I’m here to help.”