Football

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Manchester City face tough test against free scoring Monaco

Monaco team lineup

The Citizens will kick off their first match in the Champions League knockout stages by hosting Monaco at the Etihad stadium on Tuesday night. Monaco were the winners of Group E, while City came second in Group C, behind Barcelona.

This would be the first encounter between the 2 sides in any competition. Manchester City have never lost a game against French opposition in a European competition, winning 2 and drawing 1 (all against PSG). Whereas Monaco have a decent away record against English teams in European competitions, only losing 2 out of 9 matches against them. They have already come out on top against an English team this season (Tottenham) in the group stages.

 

CITY LOOK TO KICK OFF THEIR FIRST KNOCKOUT GAME UNDER PEP’S REIGN

Manchester City will face a difficult challenge against Monaco, league leaders of Ligue 1 who are currently 3 pts ahead of PSG, the team which annihilated Barcelona last week. City’s league form has improved highly this year, with the team getting into stride, slowly but steadily. However, their win against Bournemouth was followed by a dull and uninspiring 0-0 draw against Huddersfield this weekend in the FA cup fifth round.

 

 

Many crucial players, who are expected to start against Monaco, were rested that day, so a fresh performance from the sky blues is expected.

 

MANCHESTER CITY TEAM NEWS: 

Pep is looking to utilise the 4-1-4-1 formation against Monaco. 8 players were dropped against Huddersfield in the weekend FA cup clash, so players are expected to be fresh for this game.

 

Injured: Gabriel Jesus (metatarsal fracture), Ilkay Gündogan (cruciate ligament rupture)

Doubtful: John Stones (head injury), Gael Clichy, Vincent Kompany

 

 

WILL MONACO CONTINUE THEIR IMPRESSIVE RUN OF RESULTS IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE?

Monaco's form this year is still highly impressive, and Falcao and co will be looking forward to Monaco will be tested come Wednesday when they face Manchester City side in the first leg of the round of 16. This weekend didn’t go smooth for Monaco, as they were held to a 1-1 draw against Bastia. 

 

 

AS MONACO TEAM NEWS: 

Monaco aren’t goal shy and will be looking forward to play an attacking formation against City.

Injuries: Gabriel Boschilia (cruciate ligament rupture)

Doubt: Djibril Sidibe

 

PREDICTED LINEUPS: 

 

MANCHESTER CITY (4-1-4-1): Willy Caballero; Bacary Sagna, Fernandinho, Nicolas Otamendi, Kolarov; Yaya Toure; Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sane; Sergio Aguero. 

 

AS MONACO (4-4-2): Kylian Mbappe-Almamy Touré; João Moutinho, Fabinho, Thomas Lemar, Bernardo Silva; Radamel Falcao, Benjamin Mendy, Kamil Glik, Andrea Raggi, Danijel Subasic; Lottin

 

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR: 

 

SERGIO AGUERO

 

With Gabriel Jesus out for some time now, it’s the perfect time for Aguero to pounce and re-impress his manager and the fans.

 

 

Everyone loves Aguero at his best and many will be expecting Aguero to continue to bang in goals. Against Monaco on Wednesday is when Aguero needs to make a statement and prove that he is still one of the best strikers around. City will need goals from him to go far in this tournament.

 

RADAMEL FALCAO

Falcao is like the bottom portion of a Cornetto, the tastiest part of an already tasty ice cream. Averaging at least a goal in 60 minutes, he is one of the most prolific strikers in his league. With City’s easily exposable defence, fans would be eager to watch Falcao make a mark against the Premier League giants, as the Colombian will be looking to add to his tally of 21 goals this season.

 

 

MATCH PREDICTION: 

 

MANCHESTER CITY 3-2 MONACO

With both teams possessing a better attack than defence, goals will be expected at the Etihad on Tuesday. Manchester City will have the edge on Monaco in terms of results with Pep’s Champions League experience and City’s massive squad depth. Both teams will put on impressive and energetic performances come 22nd February.

 

TV GUIDE: 

Indian TV viewers can catch the match from 12:30 am to 3:30 am, which includes pre-match analysis, on Ten HD1 and Ten 2.

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