AS Monaco vs Valencia – UEFA Champions League – Preview

Posted on by Sreya

Valencia travel to Stade Louis II to face AS Monaco in the reverse fixture of the UEFA Champions League qualifier, having already won the first leg 3-1 less than a week ago. Valencia are aiming to return to Europe’s premier competition after a gap of two seasons and the late third goal at Mestalla contributed immensely to the cause, after Mario Pasalic, on loan from Chelsea to AS Monaco had scored to give the Ligue 1 side a crucial away goal advantage.

Team News

Stephen El Shaarawy, who was on bench during the first leg, is expected to start considering the fact that Monaco are in a dire need for goals up front. For Valencia, Diego Alves is a long-term injury concern, hence Matt Ryan should keep his place as the starting goalkeeper. Nicolas Otamendi’s sale to Manchester City means Ruben Vezo will be paired alongside Mustafi.

AS Monaco Possible Starting XI: Subasic; Ragic, Carvalho, Wallace, Elderson; Fabinho, Toulalan, Mario Pasalic; Silva, Anthony Martial, El Shaarawy.

Valencia Possible Starting XI:  Matt Ryan, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Vezo, Skhodran Mustafi, Lucas Orban, Enzo Perez, Javi Fuego, Rodrigo de Paul, Rodrigo, Paco Alcacer, Palco Piatti.

Team Profiles

Monaco have a difficult task at hand, but one Leonardo Jarim’s side is completely capable of. The Ligue 1 outfit reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League last season and boast of an excellent record at home, losing only to Arsenal in the last eleven matches, winning six and drawing four of them. Less than two weeks into the season, AS Monaco’s thin squad are already stretched out and they will have to be at their absolute best, should they wish to progress to the Group stages of the UEFA Champions League.

Valencia only need to keep things simple to progress forward. The La Liga side kept a clean sheet at home against Rayo Vallecano on the weekend and the defense in tandem with Matt Ryan need a repeat of that performance. Paco Alcacer has proved to be a threat to opposition every time he has started and is the best bet for Valencia to get an away goal early into the match.

Contributor’s Pick

Valencia and AS Monaco have met only once before last week, with the Spanish side beating the French team 5-3 on aggregate in the first round of the 1980/81 European Cuo Winners’ Cup, as reflected in the Head-2-Head statistics. Valencia also possess a winning record at Stade Louis II, having beaten Porto to win the UEFA Super Cup in 2004. It should be a closely contested affair with an expected scoreline of 1-1, but Valencia are the likeliest to progress to the group stages of the UEFA Champions League

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