Monaco and Manchester City continue their Champions League Round of 16 battle on Wednesday evening, with the English side 5-3 up on aggregate.
The last meeting between these two sides was a goal-fest and many are expecting the same in the second leg. Both sides love attacking and have more talent going forward than they do defensively.
If anything, City’s opponents have been more impressive than them since the first leg. Monaco have continued their free-scoring streak having found the back of the net 12 times since playing Guardiola’s side. Four wins from their last four will mean the French side are confident coming into the second leg. The 4-3 win against Marseille shows that Leandro Jardim’s side can outscore tough opponents if they need to.
Since their last game against Monaco, Manchester City have scored nine goals in four matches and remain unbeaten. The Citizens have picked up comfortable victories against Huddersfield and Middlesbrough in the FA Cup while they also brushed aside a struggling Sunderland outfit in the Premier League. Pep Guardiola’s men were held at home to Stoke City, which will be seen as two points dropped, as oppose to one gained.
Monaco predicted starting XI Manchester City predicted starting XI
For Monaco, the only big worry is the fitness of star striker Radamel Falcao. The Columbian hitman suffered a hip injury in the late stages of his sides 2-1 win against Bordeaux. Being such a key figure for Monaco, Jardim is likely to play Falcao if at all possible.
Pep Guardiola’s first big call comes when he has to decide who starts in goal. The Spaniard can’t be amazed by the performances of either of his keepers this season but it seems Willy Caballero will get the nod.
Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus are the only players Guardiola won’t be able to call upon, as both are out with long-term injuries. Vincent Kompany has been back in training and could feature.
Whilst a repeat of the 5-3 first leg isn’t expected, there should still be goals. With both sides’ figurehead being a world-class striker, Radamel Falcao and Sergio Aguero, it is unlikely that the goalkeepers will keep a clean sheet. There is also enough talent on the pitch for more goals. However, with City’s two-goal advantage, anything but an embarrassment will please the manager.
Score prediction: Monaco 2-2 Manchester City.
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