Arsene Wenger takes on one of his former clubs in The Champions League 1st knockout phase on Wednesday evening with his current team, Arsenal, in very good form.
Ostensibly perennial questions remain about the strength of Arsenal’s spine and these foibles will once more inhibit The Gunners’ march to the final.
But they should beat Monaco over two legs and progress to the quarters. The French side went on a similar trajectory to PSG a few seasons back as money poured into the club. But there has been a major tightening of the purse strings over the last year and their biggest hitters, Rodriguez and Falcao, have both left the club (the latter on loan for now).
But Monaco still have some super players such as Moutinho, Berbatov and Kondogbia and this won’t be a walkover. Indeed, Arsenal will face a stern challenge in the away tie. And this is why they must take a commanding lead with them from The Emirates on Wednesday.
We think that Arsenal may concede a goal but will run out with an advantage to take into the crucial second leg in Monaco on 17th March. They will need to score as the French side have had a really watertight defence so far, having conceded just one goal in this year’s tournament. This could turn out to be a telling statistic for Monaco.
So expect an open and entertaining game in which Arsenal win but fail to shut out the opposition.
Prediction: Arsenal 3 – 1 Monaco
To Qualify: Arsenal