Monaco v Tottenham: Hosts unlikely to rekindle Arsenal heroics

Monaco have pleasant memories from as recently as last season to call on when it comes to playing teams from north London, but are vastly changed since eliminating Arsenal from the Champions League’s round of 16.

Half of the matchday squad from their infamous 3-1 win at the Emirates last February have left the club this summer, including all three goalscorers and impressive centre-back Aymen Abdennour.

A side that were in the process of cost cutting while battling for fourth spot in Ligue 1 then, have continued further along the path of austerity this season. Ahead of their first battle with Tottenham in the Europa League, Monaco find themselves in ninth place domestically.

Regular wins have been hard to come by for the French principality since the middle of August, as can be expected when the likes of Anthony Martial, Geoffrey Kondogbia and a host of other first-teamers move on from the club.

Geoffrey Kondogbia scored the opener in Monaco’s 3-1 win over Arsenal

Only three victories have come the Red and Whites’ way in their last 10 and, just like when they battled Arsenal seven months ago, face a Spurs outfit in buoyant mood.

Following their unexpected 4-1 win over Manchester City, Tottenham have now lost just twice in nine all-competition outings this term. There is, however, a growing feeling that Mauricio Pochettino can’t place much faith in his squad’s fringe.

Capital One Cup defeat to Arsenal recently came largely because the Argentine selected Federico Fazio in the heart of defence.

His appearance on the team sheet, in a bid to give Toby Alderweireld or Jan Vertonghen a rest, will give the hosts a real chance of landing their 11/10 odds for victory.

Pochettino, whose squad are 5/2 outsiders, is caught between the rock of European success and a hard place of roster recuperation.

Perhaps the best chance of landing a bet though, comes from backing Spurs attacking talents to score over 1.5 goals at the Stade Louis II, at 12/5.

Whether it’s some variation of the first-choice front line, or the backups like Andros Townsend and Clinton N’Jie, Spurs should be able to breach a defence that has shipped seven in three at home more than once.

Alternatively, check out Ladbrokes Sharp Shooter* offer and the price boost on Spurs winning a game in which both teams score, which is out to 8/1.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.