Possible Arsenal starting line up against Monaco



Arsenal entertain Monaco in the Champions League first leg Round of 16 at the Emirates and the Gunners will be hoping to take a handsome lead before the return leg.

Arsene Wenger will be pleased with the draw, as the Gunners been knocked out of Europe at this stage of the competition in the previous four seasons after facing difficult opponents like Barcelona, AC Milan and Bayern Munich. 

The Frenchman believes Arsenal will have to be at their best, as Monaco are coming into this match on the back of an impressive run of form. 

Leonardo Jardim’s side have conceded just once in the group stages, and have lost just one of their last 10 matches in Ligue 1. 

“The last 16 in recent years has been super tough,” said Wenger. “This is a 50:50 game. We know that Monaco are very tight defensively – they didn’t concede in the group stage against good teams.

“Of course it will be tricky but a possible tie. It’s really a 50:50 because Monaco are in a similar position to us. They came back into a good position in the league and their confidence level will be high.

Wenger has stressed the importance of coming into this match on the back of a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

“[The emotional ties to the draw] have not been hard. What was important for me was to win [against Crystal Palace] because we fought like mad to come back in a strong position in the league, and not to win would have been disastrous.”

David Ospina is suffering from a back problem so Szczesny is likely to get a chance to re-stake his claim for the starting spot in goal. Danny Welbeck should continue after his good performance against Palace on the right.

Prediction: Monaco have kept five clean sheets in their last six matches in the Champions League, but Arsenal are undefeated too in their last five matches, so expect a narrow victory for the Gunners, 1-0.

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