Mission Improbable: Monaco Edition
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go behind enemy lines in the Principality of Monaco for the battle that would shape your Champions League destiny for this season at least. I know that you’ve been on fire in the Premier League and at the frantic you’re winning your League games, qualification for the competition will be assured for the umpteenth time (something some folks don’t appreciate) but tonight you have a date with destiny.
When the villains from Monaco came to your turf, they detonated three missiles in our base and sadly, our last line of defense, David Ospina, was helpless even though many feel that he could have done better to stop the surface-to-goal torpedo launched by Ferreira-Carrasco. Tonight, all that doesn’t matter. I hear that George Graham has nothing on this lot – seven goals conceded in 22 games is no mean feat but on the night, we can put up a show that’s up there with the very best. They weren’t all that when they came to our turf as our profligacy came to bite us up the arse but I’m sure that there was a lessons learned session of a learning session that had something to do with the players learning…okay, it’s getting too much.
So our soldiers have been on the news recently, with Mesut Ozil stating that the team would fight from the first whistle. Per Mertesacker says we can beat anyone and will you blame him? Fuck yeah! We’ve bossed the city of Manchester twice already this season, a place we never had any measure of joy. The confidence is there for everyone to see and the recent performances have been scintillating to say the least. David Ospina loves his clean sheets, Francis Coquelin is beasting in holding midfield, Aaron Ramsey seems to have gotten his mojo back and Olivier Giroud, my word, is red eff’n hot!
To fight a battle of this intensity, you need your troops to be fit and ready for battle and we have some good news regarding Gabriel Paulista. According to the boss, he’s fit for duty but the same can’t be said about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring) and Tomas Rosicky (sickness) who would join the usual suspects, Serge Gnabry (lack of match fitness), Mikel Arteta (ankle), Jack Wilshere (ankle), and Mathieu Debuchy (shoulder). You must have noticed that I dodn’t add Abou Diaby to the aforementioned list. Saying that he’s injured isn’t news.
Looking at the form of both sides, they have piled up them W’s with style…
- Last Five Games: W D L W W
- Last Result: Monaco 3 Bastia 0
- Leading Goalscorer: Dimitar Berbatov (8)
- Last Five Games: W L W W W
- Last Result: Arsenal 3 West Ham 0
- Leading Goalscorer: Alexis Sanchez (19)
Monaco (4-3-3): Subasic; Abdennour, Kurzawa, Toure, Fabinho; Toulalan, Joao Moutinho, Kondogbia; Berbatov, Bernardo Silva, Martial
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ospina; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Ramsey; Cazorla, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud
This mission seems improbable but we, the 12th man, will be behind you all the way. We have had some great European nights in the past and I’m sure we are in for the night of our lives.
This message will self-destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
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