Ask the Opposition

Ask the Opposition 58: Monaco (with Nicolas Weill)

Manchester City’s mission to Cardiff sees them face AS Monaco in the round of 16 in the Champions League this year. With both teams drawing in their most recent games, it was likely that each had one eye on this fixture.

Monaco are currently top of Ligue 1 and will certainly provide City with a challenge as both teams look to advance to the next round of fixtures.

We spoke to Monaco fan Nicolas Weill to gather his thoughts on both fixtures and what could be in store for the City defence.

Hi Nicolas, thanks for talking to us. Monaco currently have the most prolific attack in Europe’s top five leagues with 76 goals scored so far in the league alone. Can you put into words just how your season has gone so far?

It started early since we had to go through the 3rd qualifying and play-off rounds before reaching the group stage of the Champions League. For Ligue 1, the win against Paris Saint-Germain in the third week really kicked off our season. After that, apart from few hiccups, we racked up a lot of heavy scores and played a very entertaining football.

Falcao really struggled during his two loan stints in England but he seems to be back to his best now. Could you offer any explanation as to why he’s thriving again?

Playing time and confidence. At the beginning of the season, we could see he hasn’t played in a long time. He was still missing exuberance and rhythm. But, with the full support he has received from the Club, the more he played, the better he got.

Who else would you highlight as being key players for Monaco?

Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar, Fabinho and Tiémoué Bakayoko

Up to six Monaco players are linked with a move to Manchester City in the summer but perhaps the most tangible is Fabinho. Can you tell us a bit about him and if he fills Pep’s ‘mould’?

Last year Fabinho was playing as a right-back but since he has been repositioned as midfielder, he has blossomed even more. It seems that he never gets tired, his ability to read the game gives him a great advantage to recover the ball, and his great technical skills allow him to realize great passes. For these reasons I’m sure he would be a great fit for Pep’s mould.

This tie sees two very creative, attacking teams go head to head with each other and it is most likely that both team’s defences will be seriously tested. Are you confident that Monaco’s defence can shut out the likes of Sterling, Sané and Aguero?

Honestly, Kamil Glik is a rock but the fact that Jemerson will be suspended for this first game is not a good news for us. Also, our left and right backs love to play an offensive game. So I guess it will create a lot of opportunity for Man City.

Finally, please can we have your predicted starting eleven and what you think the final score – and overall tie score – will be?

Subasic; Sidibé, Glik, Raggi (or Touré), Mendy; Fabinho, Bakayoko; Silva, Lemar; Falcao, Germain

I see a 1-1 draw in the 1st leg and I truly hope for a 2-1 in the 2nd leg for us.

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