Arsenal will travel to French side Monaco with a degree of impossibility attached to their task of qualifying to the Quarter Finals of the Champions League. Arsenal carry a deficit of 3-1 from the first leg which would mean that for the Gunners to qualify will have to at least score 3 un-answered goals.
We learned a lot about both side from the first leg and Monaco did not look like a side who will concede 3 easy goals. Arsenal players and fans are well aware of the task in hand but they cannot lose hopes just by seeing the severity of the task in hand.
Arsene Wenger will prepare his team for nothing less than a victory and an all-fired up Arsenal team can be difficult to hold for most teams in Europe. Having said that, I take a look at the top 5 things to expect from Arsene Wenger takes his current side to the club where it all started for him as a manger.
Olivier Giroud will not be as horrible as in the 1st leg
Arsenal fans would still be scratching their heads wondering how a player like Olivier Giroud can be as bad as he was in the 1st leg. Those 90 minutes in the first leg against Monaco were Giroud’s worst in an Arsenal shirt.
The French striker missed 3 glorious chances to score for the Gunners. He would look to be on better form in the second leg as he will be eyed as the main man who can score the goals which would allow Arsenal to have any say in the game.
Mesut Ozil to have a big say in the game
One player who has been constantly criticised for his performance for Arsenal is Mesut Ozil. The German’s languid style often comes in his way of establishing himself among the Arsenal faithful. Ozil needs to have a massive game in his career which would define him as an Arsenal player and the 2nd leg tie against Monaco could be the one.
Since returning from injury, Ozil has looked in good form and has been the main man in Arsenal’s attack. Ozil in tandem with Sanchez and Giroud could be the perfect recipe of success for Arsenal.
Monaco would be caught in “whether to defend or attack” mind-set
Monaco did an unbelievable job in the first leg by coming as the 3-1 winner. They have 3 away goals to their name and when the second leg will come around, the French side will be caught in the similar mind set which Chelsea were caught in.
Monaci would want to attack but they will wary of not conceding early goals and if they sit back too much and allow Arsenal to play their game, they can be blown away by Arsenal’s attackers. Monaco will have to balance their play or they will suffer the similar fate as well which Chelsea suffered.
Arsene Wenger and his love affair with Monaco to continue
Arsene Wenger made his name as a football manager from his days in Monaco. Based on some stellar seasons with French side landed Wenger the top job in the Premier League. Arsene Wenger has not forgotten his roots and Monaco fans have the same respect for the Frenchman.
There will be a feeling of admiration and love when Arsene Wenger takes his current Arsenal side to face his former side Monaco. I hope the emotion on the night does not get the better of Wenger and he is able to focus himself on the game and getting the result for his side.
Arsenal to win on the night but lose the tie
Arsenal fans can kill me for bringing back the memories of that famous Bayern Munich clash from 2 seasons ago where Arsenal almost completed the magical comeback by winning the away tie.
Arsenal trailed Munich by 3-1 from the home leg and like this tie Arsene Wenger’s men were given no chance but they shocked Bayern by leading 2-0 and fair to say that if luck would have favoured Arsenal slightly they could have easily beaten Bayern by 3 or 4 goal that night and progress through.
I see this game going out differently as Monaco will be steadier and defensively more shrewd. Arsenal can win the game on the night but qualifying to the next round would be an impossible task I don’t see Arsenal achieving.
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