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The inside track on Monaco...

Posted on 22 November 2016  - 12:05

Highly-respected journalist Damien Degorre of L'equipe told us that Monaco were a different team this season ahead of our Champions League MD1 clash at Wembley. How have they performed since? We turned to Damien again as we count down to our huge MD5 clash at Stade Louis II...

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Damien Degorre, L'equipe

degorre_730You were certainly right about Monaco, Damien! What do you think about the game this time around?
Damien: "Monaco are now in a different situation from the first game. At Wembley, Monaco were the outsiders, not the favourites and now they are top of the group. Remember two seasons ago when Monaco played at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal? They won 3-1, but the return leg was very complicated for them (Arsenal won 2-0, Monaco won the tie on away goals). It’s the same kind of situation because Monaco only need to draw and they will qualify. It was the same against Arsenal. I’m not sure if Monaco are experienced enough in the Champions League to play for a draw and even though Tottenham haven’t participated as much in the Champions League, they have more experienced players, international players and it could be difficult for Monaco. It all depends how they approach the game."

Below: Thomas Lemar

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Monaco's results have been very good of late - four wins in the last five unbeaten - how are they playing at the moment?
Damien: "The key factor is that there are no players injured at Monaco and the squad is at full strength. Radamel Falcao is almost back at the top of his form. Thomas Lemar is a great player, I’m sure teams will be watching him and you saw that at Wembley, he was substitute, came on for Nabil Dirar after five minutes and scored the goal. He’s an important player for Monaco with Bernardo Silva on the right and Lemar on the left. Falcao and Valere Germain are the focal point of the attack, both very dangerous. It’s not the same spirit at Monaco now as it was one or two years ago. It’s a very fast squad, solid defensively and dangerous on the counter-attack."

Below: Radamel Falcao, centre

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Falcao looks back in form with six goals in five matches...
Damien: "Falcao is now the player who was at Porto and Atletico Madrid, not the Falcao of Manchester United or Chelsea. The form of Falcao is like a 'new' Falcao. He’s not important in the construction of Monaco’s game but when he’s in the box, he’s very dangerous for the opponents. I’m quite sure the danger will come from Lemar as well, a very young, talented player."

Below: Coach Leonardo Jardim

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How do you think it will pan out at Stade Louis II?
Damien: "I think Tottenham will have possession - like Arsenal had possession two years ago. I don’t know why, but I think this could be Tottenham’s day. Monaco are in a tricky situation, like they were against Arsenal, in fact, it’s exactly the same situation. I think Tottenham could profit from that situation. A draw is enough for Monaco to be in the next round but I’m not sure that Monaco will know how to play for the draw and Tottenham could profit from that."