Arsenal Prepare For Mission Improbable
Match Preview – Monaco vs Arsenal – Champions League – 17.03.15
Tonight’s match has been billed as “Mission impossible” for Arsenal who left themselves a mountain to climb with their horror showing against Monaco three weeks ago.
Arsenal line up in Stade Louis II tonight – St Patrick’s Day – and boy could they do with some of the fabled “luck of the Irish”. The Gunners need to win by three clear goals to progress to the next stage of the Champions League and has been pointed out by numerous outlets, coming back from two goals down is as rare as rocking horse sh!t.
The phrase “Luck of the Irish” actually originated in the US to describe the fortunes of gold prospectors of mainly Irish descent who frequently struck rich pockets of the precious metal. Arsenal could really do with striking gold tonight because Monaco are no defensive mugs and at the first sniff of an Arsenal comeback I expect them to shut up shop quicker than a horny grocer on a promise on a slow day.
Unlike Arsenal of previous generations we have an extreme dearth of Irish blood in the club which is a shame in and of itself. We do however have a large Gallic influence at Arsenal and Gallic is spelt similarly to Gaelic… I’m clutching at straws here. My desperation is there for all to see. This is the blogging equivalent of swiping right on every account on Tinder and hoping for something to click before eat ice-cream at 3 in the morning watching Huge Grant films wishing your life could be different.
Arsenal are in great form and high in confidence after their watershed win at Old Trafford but I think we’ve left ourselves too much to do.
Like previous seasons I see this as being another glorious failure. We are more than capable of scoring three against Monaco but doing it without reply will be difficult as we will have to open up to a degree to get our best stuff flowing in the pursuit of goals.
Arsenal have developed a patient touch since the loss to Monaco which exposed one of our biggest weaknesses. Too often Arsenal rush things and try to force the game and in doing so leave themselves exposed. Against Manchester United they played patiently and waited for their opportunity and to their supreme credit they stuck to that plan when United equalised.
That showed they had learnt as previous Arsenal teams would have gone gung ho in the search of security. Instead they held firm and waited for another opportunity to strike and ensured it was the one that counted.
More of the same tonight could well see Arsenal achieve their #MiracleInMonaco *CRINGE!!*. It’s not quite mission impossible, it’s more like mission improbable.
Another glorious failure would not be the end of the world though as the AC Milan and Bayern Munich glorious failures started us on the road to a strong finish in the league which this season could mean so much more than scraping fourth.
Arsenal from; Szczesny, Ospina, Gibbs, Gabriel, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Chambers, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Coquelin, Özil, Walcott, Welbeck, Cazorla, Alexis, Giroud.
Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Özil, Cazorla, Ramsey, Alexis, Giroud
I expect to see substitute appearances from Welbeck, Chambers and Walcott.
“We have moved on and improved a lot, so that’s why we are very confident that, even away from home, we can beat any team in the world.” – Per Mertesacker
- Arsenal 1-3 Monaco (25.02.2015)
Arsenal Last 5
Monaco Last 5
Monaco followed up their heady win against Arsenal with a draw and a loss whereas Arsenal responded to defeat with four consecutive wins. The Ligue 1 side have two wins in their last two games though and seem to be picking up form despite a few injuries.
Defensively they have been pretty sound domestically and in Europe so are unlikely to let in three without reply at home. They won’t be as much of an opposition to Arsenal as they were at the Emirates, mainly due to Arsenal presenting, hopefully, a different mentality but they won’t capitulate.
- Monaco are unbeaten in 8 European matches at home
- No team has ever gone into a Champions League away tie needing more than one goal to progress and achieved it. Arsenal need three.
- Monaco have a 9 tie winning streak in two legged matches when claiming the first leg
- Arsenal have never lost away to a Ligue 1 team
- Arsenal haven’t progressed to the next stage in their last 4 attempts
- Arsenal have a 100% record against Ligue 1 sides in two legged ties
2-0 to Arsenal with Özil and Giroud on the scoresheet.
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