|UEFA Champions League 2014-15|
| AS Monaco
ScheduleTuesday, 17 March 2015 at 18:45 GMT / 18:45 UK / 00:15 IST
VenueStade Louis II (Monaco)
Next Tuesday, 17th of March 2015, a highly motivated Arsenal will travel to Stade Louis II to measure forces with the surprising AS Monaco for the second-leg of the Last 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League. The Gunners were stunned at home 3-1 by a mighty and counter attack-driven French team and are now forced to score two or three goals without conceding a single one in order to book a place in the next stage of the tournament.
Arsenal have only lost three times since the beginning of the new year and one of them was a painful and probably compromising 3-1 defeat at the hands of AS Monaco almost three weeks ago. The Gunners left a very poor impression of themselves on that particular match and at the same time exposed the enormous vulnerabilities of their defence line, who were caught napping on several different occasions throughout the game.
Arsenal have, however, managed to bounce back immediately from such setback and are now on a very positive run with four consecutive wins, one of them at Old Trafford against their rivals of Manchester United for the FA Cup Quarter-finals. Last weekend, the Gunners smashed their neighbours West Ham by 3-0 on a London derby that ended up by being a walk in the park for Arsene Wenger’s boys.
For their predictably complicated travel to the Principality of Monaco, the French manager will almost certainly not be able to rely on the services of Mikel Arteta, Debuchy, Diaby and Oxlade-Chamberlain, all of them sidelined due to injury.
As for AS Monaco, they are the real underdogs at this stage of the competition and they will certainly try to replicate their splendid performance at the Emirates Stadium in order to surprise Arsenal once again and to book a place on the next round of the tournament. Leonardo Jardim’s work at the Monegasque team is not going unnoticed, especially after what they did to the Gunners late last month. The Portuguese manager, who has only arrived at the helm of the French team last Summer, is doing a splendid job with a team that suffered several changes from their last season’s setup, particularly after the departures of James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao. Leonardo Jardim has, nevertheless, managed to implemented his game ideas and AS Monaco are now a very dangerous and organized team that can look any major football powerhouse of the Old Continent straight in the eye.
For next Tuesday’s clash against Arsenal, the Portuguese manager will not be able to rely on the contribution of Bakayoko, Lacina Traoré and Raggi, all sidelined due to injury.
Given what happened on the first-leg match, it is fair to name AS Monaco as slightly favourites to win the upcoming match.
Stats: W-1 L-1 D-3
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Stats: W-5 L-0 D-0
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AS Monaco (4-3-3) - Subasic - Toure - Ricardo Carvalho - Abdennour - Echiejile - Fabinho - Moutinho - Kondogbia - Ferreira - Martial - Berbatov
Arsenal (4-3-3) - Ospina - Chambers - Mertesacker - Koscielny - Monreal - Coquelin - Ramsey - Sanchez - Ozil - Walcott - Giroud