UEFA Champions League Preview: Arsenal vs. Monaco

The return of the UEFA Champions League means that teams can dream once again winning the coveted trophy, something that Arsenal have never done. In the first leg of the knockout round, Arsenal take on Monaco at the Emirates. Arsene Wenger might have some fond memories as he was the manager of the Ligue 1 club between 1987 to 1994, he even took the club to a Ligue 1 title before he left to join Nagoya Grampus before he joined Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

Arsenal will be buoyed by their little run of league performances, although they lost a tightly contested match against Tottenham, they have been on a good run and even defeated Crystal Palace last week. Monaco who also won their last league game actually defeated their rivals in their derby against Nice.

Team news:

Arsenal more or less have a full strength side to choose from, they will however miss out on the services of Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain which could mean that he could stick with the same team that defeated Crystal Palace.

Monaco also have an almost complete squad to choose from except the services of their Belgian winger, Yannick Carrasco who is on the treatment table, Kurzawa their young defender might also miss the game but both players could make it if they recover in time.

Match Facts

This is the first ever competitive meeting between Arsenal and Monaco.

Arsenal haven’t conceded a single goal at the Emirates in three Champions League games against French opposition.

Monaco hadn’t reached the knockout stages of the Champions League since 2004/05 when they were eventually eliminated out by PSV Eindhoven in the last 16.

Monaco have gone through against English clubs in their last three knockout encounters : in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup quarter finals v Newcastle, in the 1997/98 Champions League quarter finals v Manchester Utd and in the 2003/04 Champions League semi-finals v Chelsea.

Possible starting line-ups:

Arsenal: Ospina, Chambers, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott, Giroud

Monaco: Subasic, Fabinho, Wallace, Abdennour, Kurzawa, Toulalan, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Martial, Carrasco, Berbatov

Prediction:

Although Monaco have a decent record of having played in England, they even won the last time they were at the Emirates when Radamel Falcao scored the only goal of the game against the Gunners in the Emirates Cup tournament, it should be Arsenal who gets an easy victory over the team from the principality.

Arsenal have too much firepower for the team from Monaco to deal with and if they play to their potential, Arsenal could easily win this game by a couple of goals.

Match Facts from EuroSport

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