Champions League Preview: Manchester City vs Monaco

Manchester City have reason to be wary when they host an AS Monaco side with a fine record in knockout ties against English opposition in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter.

Monaco reached the knockout stage as winners of Group E, while City qualified as Group C runners-up behind Barcelona.

Match background

Manchester City

City are bidding to make the quarterfinals for the second time in their history, following last term’s groundbreaking run to the last four.

They are on a nine-match unbeaten streak at home in the Champions League (W6 D3).

City overcame Paris Saint-Germain in last season’s quarterfinals, Kevin De Bruyne scoring in both legs as they drew 2-2 in France before a 1-0 victory back in Manchester.

City’s only other brush with French opposition was a 0-0 home draw with Paris in the 2008/09 Uefa Cup group stage. Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta both played.

Josep Guardiola won all seven previous round of 16 ties as a coach with Barcelona and FC Bayern München.

Monaco

Monaco are seeking a second Champions League quarterfinal appearance in three seasons, having last competed in the last eight in 2015 after beating Arsenal FC on away goals in the round of 16 (3-1 a, 0-2 h).

They have already won on English soil once this term, defeating Tottenham Hotspur FC 2-1 at Wembley Stadium in their group opener, with Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar scoring. Lemar struck again when they beat Tottenham 2-1 at home on 22 November.

Monaco’s away record against English league clubs is W4 D2 L2.

ASM have won all but one of their five previous two-legged ties against teams from England, including Champions League successes against Manchester United (1997/98 quarter-final), Chelsea (2003/04 semifinal) and Arsenal (2014/15 round of 16).

Coach and player links

This is Guardiola’s first duel with French opponents since his Barcelona side beat Olympique Lyonnais 6-3 on aggregate in the last 16 in 2009. As a player, he was in the Barcelona side that overcame Paris 1-0 in the 1997 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final. He had helped Barcelona to home (2-0) and away (1-0) victories over Monaco in the 1993/94 Champions League group stage.

Leonardo Jardim’s first encounter with English opposition came as coach of the SC Braga side that beat Birmingham City FC twice (3-1 a, 1-0 h) in the 2011/12 Uefa Europa League group stage. The next season, as Olympiacos FC boss, he faced Arsenal in the 2012/13 Champions League group stage, losing 3-1 in London but winning 2-1 at home.

Yaya Touré was a Monaco player in 2006/07, making 27 Ligue 1 outings and scoring five goals.

Bacary Sagna faced Monaco five times with AJ Auxerre between 2004 and 2007 (W2 D2 L1).

João Moutinho was in the FC Porto team beaten 4-0 at City in the Europa League round of 32 on 22 February 2012. Fernando and Nicolás Otamendi also featured for Porto that night.

During his 2014/15 loan at Manchester United, Radamel Falcao figured as an 83rd-minute substitute in a 4-2 derby home win over City. On loan at Chelsea in 2015/16, the Colombian was a late replacement in a 3-0 loss at City.

Falcao struck Porto’s winner in a 2-1 first-leg home success over Arsenal in the 2009/10 Champions League round of 16 (agg 2-6). He hit a hat-trick against Chelsea for Club Atlético de Madrid in the 2012 Uefa Super Cup.

Djibril Sidibé made his home debut for France as a replacement for Sagna during a 4-1 Fifa World Cup qualifying win in October 2016.

Aleksandar Kolarov scored a free-kick goal for Serbia in a 1-1 friendly draw with France in Belgrade in 2014.

Have played together:

  • Fernando & Radamel Falcao (FC Porto, 2009–11)
  • Fernando, Nicolás Otamendi & João Moutinho (FC Porto, 2010–13)
  • Bacary Sagna & Djibril Sidibé (France)
  • Fernandinho & Fabinho (Brazil)

 

 

Match Facts

Manchester City

Raheem Sterling is a booking away from a ban.

City had won their last four fixtures in all competitions before Saturday’s FA Cup draw at Huddersfield Town AFC.

The winners of the replay will travel to Middlesbrough FC in the quarterfinals.

Gabriel Jesus broke a metatarsal bone in his right foot early on in the 2-0 victory at AFC Bournemouth on 13 February.

Jesus went into the Bournemouth match having scored three goals in his first four appearances in English football.

Champions League squad changes

 

  • In: Kelechi Iheanacho, Gabriel Jesus, Yaya Touré
  • Out: Angeliño, Ilkay Gündogan, James Horsfield, Pablo Maffeo, Billy O’Brien

 

Monaco

Kamil Glik will incur a suspension with his next booking, while Jemerson serves a one-match ban.

Monaco have won 11 of their 15 games in all competitions since matchday six, losing once – 3-1 at home to Olympique Lyonnais on 18 December.

Jardim’s men will play Paris in the French League Cup final on 1 April.

Monaco have also made progress in the French Cup, where they will meet Olympique de Marseille on 1 March in the last 16, having beaten AC Ajaccio (2-1) and third-tier FC Chambly (5-4 AET) in 2017.

Not including the Chambly game, the principality team have scored four goals or more in a match on 11 occasions this season.

Falcao has scored 13 goals in his last 14 appearances in all competitions.

Kylian Mbappé, 18, has registered two hat-tricks since the beginning of December, his most recent treble coming in a 5-0 defeat of FC Metz on 11 February.

Champions League squad changes

  • In: Franco Antonucci, Dylan Beaulieu, Jorge
  • Out: Mehdi Beneddine, Corentin Jean, Adama Traoré

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