No team has ever recovered from a 2-0 home defeat in the first leg of the Champions League; Juventus have won all 11 of their ties against Ligue 1 opposition; Monaco have never won in Italy from seven attempts.
Whichever way you cut it, the task facing the French league leaders is a momentous one.
No one seriously expects this young, swashbuckling side to pull it off against the Italian giants. Yet if any team is to make history in overcoming such a deficit, Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco may well be the ones to do it.
Kylian Mbappé and co. have scored 98 league goals this season — of the teams in Europe’s top five leagues, only Barcelona have scored more.
Teenage sensation Mbappé and a rejuvenated Radamel Falcao have hit 33 of them, while they’re also found the net five times each in the Champions League this term. For Monaco to have any chance of progressing, the pair will have to take their chances when they arrive.
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The biggest question mark over this Monaco line-up is in the full-back areas. First choice left-back Benjamin Mendy is a major injury doubt for tonight’s clash, while Djibril Sidibe, who is reportedly an Arsenal transfer target, endured a torrid time in the first-leg last week.
Andrea Raggi could, therefore, make his eighth Champions League start of the campaign at left-back while Moroccan international Nabil Dirar could come in at right-back.
Monaco have proven to be one of the most exciting and dangerous side’s in Europe this season – tonight will prove whether or not they can take a step beyond being merely regarded as this year’s plucky underdogs.