The second leg is both beautifully and chaotically poised after a breathless first leg that ended 5-3 to Manchester City against AS Monaco.
In reality, any outcome could have materialised on the night and if this encounter produces even half of the excitement offered up at Eastlands, football fans are in for a real treat.
Polish defender Kamil Glik is suspended for the hosts but Jemerson, who missed the first leg for the same reason, returns to shore up Leonardo Jardim’s back line.
Manchester City have no new injury concerns aside from the long term absences of Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus.
Monaco’s only loss in their last 17 matches was against tonight’s opponents in February and the mandate on paper is simple; outscore Guardiola’s Manchester City by 2 or more goals. On the evidence of the first leg, nothing can be ruled out.
Ruled out: Boschilia, Carrillo
Likely starting XI (4-4-2): Subasic; Sidibe, Jemerson, Raggi, Mendy; Silva, Bakayoko, Fabinho, Lemar; Falcao, Mbappé
Ruled out: Jesus, Gundogan
Likely starting XI (4-2-3-1): Caballero; Sagna, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov; Touré, De Bruyne; Sané; Silva, Sterling; Agüero
Monaco are sweating on the fitness of rejuvenated striker Radamel Falcao who scored a double at the Etihad Stadium.
The experienced Colombian’s coolness will need to brush off on the talented but unpredictable attackers around him, not least of which Kylian Mbappé and Bernardo Silva who were both excellent in Manchester.
Brazilian centre back Jemerson will return from suspension and his importance is underlined by the unavailability of regular defensive partner Kamil Glik.
Sergio Agüero’s two-goal contribution was pivotal when City hauled Monaco back to ultimately win the first leg and it’s hard to look beyond the Argentinian poacher as the main man for Guardiola again tonight.
Leroy Sané was also outstanding; the left-footed German’s languid style might be perfectly suited to another open encounter.
Key Match Stats
- After losing to Manchester City, Monaco have won 4 consecutive matches.
- Monaco have only kept 1 clean sheet in their last 6 matches in all competitions.
- Monaco have scored 123 goals in all competitions this season.
- Monaco have never lost over two legs to an English side in the Champions League.
- Manchester City are undefeated in their last 11 matches in all competitions.
- Manchester City have saved 5 penalties in a row in the Champions League.
- Manchester City have never lost to French opposition in European competition.
Monaco vs Manchester City promises goals. For that reason, it seems safe to back a high-scoring affair when the home side go chasing the tie that they currently trail 5-3. This isn’t likely to be a pleasant night for defenders.