Monaco managed to keep a clean sheet in the last two games and seem to have improved in the defensive phase. In the first round there were huge spaces available for opponents, but now fullbacks are more careful when advancing and central midfielders always try hard to cover the empty spaces.
Monaco may get better results against teams that control games and impose the rythm (like it happened against Villareal in Champions League). This way they don’t open up and there is no risk of being caught off guard on counters. Monaco’s attacking players also seem to prefer counter attacking football.
Most probably forwards Falcao, Love and Mbape will sit out again, but fullback Mendy will return to the lineup after being suspended in the midweek game.
PSG looked a bit better last week (in comparison to the first round), when they won 3-0 against Metz. But we have to keep in mind that opponents lack experience and their chemistry is at minimum levels. In these conditions PSG’s performance is not exactly praise worthy, especially since Metz also managed to give them some real headaches.
It was no surprise to see Ben Arfa only on the bench last week. He has yet to accommodate and build playing relations with teammates. The expectations are huge Ben Arfa and it will be almost impossible for him to replace Ibrahimovic.
Fullbacks Kurzawa and Aurier play an important role for the offensive phase and often advance. PSG were lucky to keep two clean sheets so far (opponents had a couple of important scoring chances), but things may change this round since keeper Trapp and central defender David Luiz are highly doubtful. Sirigu is also injured and most probably third keeper Areola will start in goal.
Monaco won the last game against PSG, exactly because they managed to keep it tight at the back and speculate on counters. Now they can once again apply the same strategy and take advantage of PSG’s lack of chemistry upfront (Ben Arfa hasn’t accommodated yet) and injury problems (most probably PSG will use the 3rd keeper). MONACO +0.5 at 2.13
UPDATE: Hosts will be without winger Lemar. PSG will miss defender Silva, but keeper Trapp recovered and is available.
Monaco : Subasic, De Sanctis, Badiashile – Jemerson, D.Sidibé, Ben.Mendy, Raggi, Glik, Ab.Diallo, Al.Touré – Fabinho, Dirar, Moutinho, Ber.Silva, Bakayoko, Ad.Traoré, Boschilia – I.Cavaleiro, Germain, Jean
PSG: Areola, Trapp – Aurier, Meunier, Maxwell, Kurzawa, Kimpembe, David Luiz, Marquinhos – Thiago Motta, Matuidi, Verratti, Rabiot, Krychowiak, Pastore – Cavani, Ben Arfa, Lucas, Di Maria, Augustin.