With the exception of defender Carvalho (only on the bench) , Monaco used the best possible lineup in the midweek Europa League game at Tottenham.
Although Monaco gave their all, they got trashed by Tottenham who easily won 4-1. As the scoreline suggests, it was a one sided encounter and besides being eliminated from Europa League, Monaco also lost playmaker Moutinho who once again suffered an injury.
Coach Jardim made a suicidal change and started in a 3-5-2 formula. Playing with no fullbacks doesn’t really work for Monaco as midfielders don’t properly defend the flanks. Fullback Coentrao is injured and will miss for the rest of the year, so there is a big possibility that Monaco will use the same system in the next two rounds.
Hosts may once again be without defender Raggi and forward Carillo who are doubtful.
St Etienne used a mixed squad in the midweek Europa League game but still managed to impose the rythm, get a valuable point and qualify for the European spring (1-1 vs Lazio).
Seeing that some of the most important players were rested (keeper Ruffier, winger Hamouma) St Etienne can only improve once everyone returns to the lineup.
They don’t exactly have a fierce attacking phase, but if Monaco won’t use any fullbacks then St Etienne’s attacking midfielders will have the times of their lives.
St Etienne may deserve a bit more respect from bookies, especially since Monaco have a new system without fullbacks. The problem is hosts are simply bursting with individual talent and can always strike when nobody expects it.
UPDATE: Monaco will have to do without Carrillo, Coentrao, Raggi, Cavaleiro and Ad. Traore. St Etienne will miss playmaker Eysseric who is suspended.
Monaco: Subasic, Nardi – R.Carvalho, Echiejile, Fabinho, Alm.Touré, Wallace – Bakayoko, Boschilia, Dirar, H.Costa, Lemar, Moutinho, Pasalic, Ber.Silva, Toulalan – El Shaarawy, Mbappé, L.Traoré
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Polomat, Brison, Perrin, Malcuit, Bayal, Pierre-Gabriel – Pajot, Clément, Corgnet, Cohade, Pinheiro, Lemoine – Roux, Maupay, J.Bamba, Hamouma, Monnet-Paquet