Manchester City and Monaco meet for the very first time tonight and the clash promises no shortage of goalmouth action as two attacking sides with defensive frailties do battle.
Monaco have been extraordinarily prolific in the French league, scoring 76 goals in 26 games as they set the pace ahead of PSG. In fact, they are the highest scoring side in Europe’s 5 major leagues averaging 2.92 goals per game. City themselves aren’t goal-shy with 51 goals in 25 league encounters. Manchester City new boy Gabriel Jesus is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a broken metatarsal which means that Sergio Agüero will come back into the side to lead the line.
Expect a high-scoring game when a confident Monaco side go in search of another positive result in England.
Ruled out: Kompany, Jesus
Likely starting XI: Caballero; Zabaleta, Stones, Otamendi, Fernandinho; Touré, Silva, De Bruyne; Sané, Agüero, Sterling
Ruled out: Boschilia
Doubtful: Carillo, Bakayoko
Likely starting XI: Subasic; Sidibe, Glik, Raggi, Mendy; Silva, Bakayoko, Fabinho, Lemar; Falcao, Germain
Kevin De Bruyne is Pep Guardiola’s creative lynchpin and alongside David Silva and Yaya Touré, the Belgian might be able to make City’s numerical advantage in midfield count. In the injury-enforced absence of Gabriel Jesus, club legend Sergio Agüero will have a chance to reestablish himself as a key player and there’s no better time than in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
In the engine room, Monaco will be sweating on the fitness of Tiemoué Bakayoko whose effective midfield partnership with the versatile Brazilian Fabinho affords manager Leonardo Jardim the freedom to deploy his side in a 4-4-2 formation using key creative midfielder Bernardo Silva on one flank. In this system, a resurgent Radamel Falcao will back himself to continue an excellent personal record against English foes.
Key Match Stats
- Manchester City and Monaco have never met before.
- Manchester City netted 8 times in 3 group stage matches at home this season.
- Monaco scored 9 goals in the Champions League group stage as opposed to Man City’s 12.
- Monaco have won 4, drawn 2 and lost 2 out of their 8 away matches against English sides.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Monaco’s last 3 Champions League matches.
- Both sides kept only 1 clean sheet in 6 Champions League group games this season.
With two prolific attacking sides squaring off, expect fireworks at The Etihad Stadium tonight. The draw might just be the best option with ClickaBet odds of 4.26 looking tempting.