Monaco vs Leverkusen by Gustav
After a scary defeat away to Nice last Wednesday evening, the team managed to bounce back with a narrow home victory against Angers last Saturday even with a 2:1 result. However, it needs to be said that the team experienced big problems during the match, even though they controlled the ball more, since the team was back in the scoreline from 55th minute with a goal from Diedhiou.
Luckily for them, visitors paid the price of lack of concentration towards the end of the match, since the players of Monaco managed to reach the victory thanks to two goals within ten minutes, via Glik in 66th and an own goal ten minutes later. After this victory, they remained being second at the table, now with a point less than leaders from Nice. As for the Champions League, Monaco recorded surprising and a bit undeserved victory in the first round away to Tottenham and the French side is now in a really great position ahead of next five matches.
French side should be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation with Germain as their central striker, while Lemar, Silva and Moutinho should be playing as offensive midfielders. Striker Falcao (3/1) went off in a match against Nice ten days ago and it remains to be seen whether he can be in contention for this match. Offensive midfielder Nabil Dirar (3/0) is still out with an injury, while left full back Benjamin Mendy returned to the team last weekend and should be starting here as well. Right back Almamy Toure (4/0) is doubtful but with chances to play.
Leverkusen, on the other side, comes from a 2:3 victory away from home against Mainz last Saturday evening. Similar to their opponents, they also had big problems during the match, since the home team took the lead twice, while Leverkusen managed to replied both times via Chicharito, while the Mexican player even secured the victory in second minute of additional time.
They can't be satisfied with current performances in Bundesliga, since the team has only two victories, a draw and two defeats, being currently at tenth position, however just three points below fourth placed Gladbach. As for the Champions League, Leverkusen had a 2:2 home draw against CSKA in the first round, despite their double lead after only fifteen minutes and overall domination on the field. Defeat here would narrow their chances a lot, while probably the players of Leverkusen would be content with a draw, since they would remain with decent chances of progressing further.
Players from Leverkusen should be lined up in 4-4-2 formation with Kiessling and Chicharito as strikers. Their manager Roger Schmidt will be without midfielder Vladlen Yurchenko (0/0) and offensive midfielder/forward Karim Bellarabi (2/0) who are injured. Forward Hakan Calhanoglu (4/0) is injured and remains doubtful for this one, but even if he plays, he shouldn't be involved for all ninety minutes.
- Leverkusen have drawn their last 3 matches (UEFA Champions League).
I expect this match to be very close one, with neither of the teams risking a lot this time. Monaco will be looking to get a victory, but no doubt that they won't risk much, while the Germans will be content with a draw. I doubt that the game will have early opening of the scoreline that would open up the game and a goalless draw here wouldn't surprise me at all.