“Poised” at 3-5, Monaco need to win tonight by 2-0, 3-1 or 4-2 and are well-capable of scoring that amount of goals.
So…we’ll just have to aim for a repeat of the first leg and win 10-6 on aggregate.
|A rather strange looking and so-not-big Stad Louis II|
Predicted line-up, subs and outcome.
Subs: Outfield player with gloves on, Zabaleta, Stones, Delph, Toure, Navas, Iheanacho.
Willy back in net after stepping aside for the F.A. Cup last Saturday.
Back on ‘home soil”, I think that both Gael & Bacary have been earmarked for this fixture for some time at left & right-back. In between those? Nicholas has seen a settled run in the side of late and is likely to go again. John & Aleks, however, seem to be-being rotated at the moment and I think the more experienced Kolarov will ‘get the nod’ for this one.
Pep will want to attack and will most certainly not allow his players to sit on a 2-goals lead. However, having played 86 minutes on Saturday I don’t think we’ll see Yaya start this one. Therefore, the only slight indication of protecting our 5-3 lead will be in my predicted inclusion of Fernandinho; who I’m sure will ‘sit & protect’ for large parts of tonight’s game as well as linking up with his more-attacking midfield colleagues. The rest pick themselves, with David, Leroy, Raheem, Kevin & Sergio all pressing to kill off our French hosts.
“The Hologram”, as I’ve recently discovered many Blues are calling him, sits as back-up to Willy (I will add, though, that he had a decent game against a Boro side not known for frightening defences this season); Pablo & John provide the defensive insurance. From there on in, I think we’ll see Fabian on the side in case we need to find some energy and extra defensive midfield ‘steel’, Yaya as a potential ‘game changer’, Jesus for some counter attacking pace (even if it’s just to get the ball up the other end quickly) and Kelechi for an additional goal threat.
Notable absences: Vincent Kompany (not risked / selected), Fernando (not selected), Ilkay Gundogan (injured for rest of season), Nolito (not selected) & Gabriel Jesus (injured – possibly for the rest of the season).
Do I agree with Pep’s (predicted) line-up?
Well the pace of Monaco’s attack might slice through Kolarov a few times and the left-side of the defence in general could be considered our weakest area but other than that, that all looks good to me.
Result? Huh…in terms of a scoreline this one really is anyone’s guess. They will score, I’m sure, and so will we…I’m sure.
I can’t see us letting this one slip, even if it becomes a little scary at times. Sit back, strap yourselves in and try to enjoy a potential thriller in which, I think, we’ll get through to the quarter finals (and join Leicester City!).
Expected weather conditions during the game: After a lovely warm & sunny day in the South of France, it’ll be clear skies and no breeze for the match. 12C to 14C could be classed as a nice evening for some; others might say it’s a little chilly. I think that’s perfect for a good game of footy.
Hyperlinks incomplete on this piece I'm afraid...