Preview: Manchester City v Monaco

Manchester City will aim to get their Champions League last-16 tie off to a positive start when they host Monaco in the first leg on Tuesday.

UEFA Champions League
Date: 21 February 2017
Kick-off: 21H45 (GMT+2)
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz
Assistants: Pau Cebrián Devís, Javier Rodriguez
Fourth official: Teodoro Sobrino

Head-to-head summary:



Players to watch:

The Sky Blues will he hoping Sergio Aguero can find some form against Monaco. He still leads the scoring charts at the club with 18 goals in all competitions this season, while winger Raheem Sterling and midfielder Kevin de Bruyne have contributed with 14 and 13 assists respectively.

High-flying Monaco are expected to rely on experienced goal-scorer Radamel Falcao to continue his sensational run. The former Manchester United and Chelsea striker has breathed new life into his career in France, scoring 21 goals in 27 games.

Team form and manager quotes:

City are unbeaten in their last six games coming into this clash, winning four and drawing the other two. However, their most recent result was a disappointing 0-0 draw with Huddersfield in the FA Cup fifth round.

Manager Pep Guardiola’s men are unbeaten in their last eight Champions League home games, and have never lost to French opposition in Europe, winning one and drawing two.

When asked how they will stop Monaco, who average over three goals per game in Ligue 1, Guardiola told the press: “We use many things. When they control the game and the opponents defend deep, they cross a lot but when you are attacking and you lose the ball normally the opponents attack with wingers but the team attack with Lemar and Bernardo Silva.

“That is why it is so so dangerous. They attack with a lot of people, that’s why you cannot control the counter-attack. That’s why they are so strong.”

Monaco have been in superb form of late. They are unbeaten in their last 11 games in all competitions, winning nine, while also climbing to the top of Ligue 1, ahead of defending champions PSG.

Les Rouges et Blancs also have an excellent record playing in England. The French side have lost only once in their five Champions League away games against English opposition, winning two and drawing two.

Team news:

The hosts will most likely call upon striker Sergio Aguero to lead the line against Monaco, following the broken foot suffered by Gabriel Jesus. Vincent Kompany is a doubt for City as he was unavailable to play against Huddersfield, even though Guardiola insisted it’s not serious.

Monaco will be without the services of attacking midfielder Gabriel Boschilia, as he is still recovering from a cruciate injury. However, Tiemoue Bakayoko will travel with the team despite being substituted at half-time in the game against Bastia at the weekend.