Monaco take the cut-price route and find themselves richly in profit
Go to any Monte Carlo casino and you will likely find it Authentic Prada Handbags Online Australia full of punters who fancy they have a better chance of landing a jackpot win than Arsenal do of progressing to the Champions League quarter-finals. After losing 3-1 at the Emirates, Authentic Prada Handbags Canada Arsne Wengers team need at least three goals against a Monaco side who have one of the meanest defences in Europe. The house has a clear edge.
It is almost four years since Monaco conceded three goals at home, and that was when they were in Frances second tier. They are a very different side now. They did not concede a single goal at the Stade Louis II (and only one away) in this seasons Champions League group stages and have let in just two in their past 13 matches anywhere in Ligue 1. In their last outing, Fridays 3-0 home victory over Bastia, their opponents did not manage a shot on target and ended the game with nine men, so frustrated did they become at their lack of possession.
Monaco have suffered one heavy defeat this term C 4-1 at Bordeaux in August C but the manager, Leonardo Jardim, has tightened them up markedly since then. Now the Portuguese is starting to win admirers and, more improbably, the clubs improvised plan is looking like it may bear fruit.
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The Arsenal tie could redefine Monacos season in much the same way that victory over Chelsea changed the perception of Paris Saint-Germain. For most of this campaign Monaco have been accused of being insufferably boring because in addition to being solid at the back they have tended to be blunt up front.
Until recent weeks their style of play was literally a turn-off, with Canal viewers voting Januarys 0-0 home draw with Bordeaux as Best Prada Outlet In Italy the worst match screened on the channel for three years. Attendances dropped to levels that were low even by Monacos standards, with this seasons average of less than 8,000 being their second-worst this millennium, the only lower one occurring in the 2010?11 season that concluded with relegation.
Last month even the most fanatical fans were finding it too much to bear replica, and a group of ultras demonstrated their discontent by walking out at kick-off in the League Cup semi-final (Monaco lost on penalties after another 0-0 draw).
Although Jardim has been criticised, most of the blame was aimed at the clubs owner, the Russian tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev, who abruptly changed strategy in the summer by reining in expenditure and then selling, rather than recruiting, top names. Personal and political reasons probably contributed to his switch of direction but the club said its hand was forced by financial fair play regulations and vowed to develop young players instead.
Under the circumstances it is not so surprising that Jardims side were scoring only half as many goals as Monaco did under Claudio Ranieri the previous season. And perhaps it is not so surprising that they have conceded so few.
Jardim arrived at Monaco last summer after establishing a reputation for turning young teams into well-drilled units by guiding a Sporting Lisbon side full of academy graduates to second place in the Portuguese league, where they conceded Bicester Village Prada Refund only 20 goals in 30 matches, almost half as many as the previous season. His attempt to do something similar at Monaco has been complicated by injuries.
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Under Jardim Monaco are extremely unlikely Authentic Prada Handbags Uk to suffer the sort of systemic failure that Arsenal did in the first leg at the Emirates. The Portuguese is a meticulous organiser and motivator and those merits have helped talented young players to slot seamlessly into the team when required.
Wallace, a Brazil Under-21 international, has been assured in central defence alongside Aymen Abdennour since the loss of the duo that began the season, the 30-year-old Andrea Raggi and 36-year-old Ricardo Carvahlo. The former Chelsea defender returned against Bastia after a long absence but Jardim has evidence he can do without Are Prada Mens Shoes Worth It the veteran.
Similarly, the 18-year-old Almamy Tour made his league debut against Nice only days before excelling against Arsenal at the Emirates, and he has continued to show that solidity and even weighed in with a couple of goals. The teams erstwhile right-back, the 21-year-old Brazilian Fabinho, was moved into midfield to replace the suspended Jrmy Toulalan at the Emirates and he, too, has continued to perform well, anchoring a midfield in which Geoffrey Kondogbia and Jo?o Moutinho provide iron cover Bicester Village Prada Store Number for the defence and increasingly dynamic invention. Minor hamstring trouble meant Kondogbia missed the win over Bastia but he is expected to be fit for Tuesday.
Moutinho, meanwhile, goes into that game in the best form that he has shown since joining Monaco along with the now-departed James Rodrguez in 2013. The Portuguese is ubiquitous for his team, breaking up opposition moves and orchestrating attacks with a marvellous range of passing, from quick releases from deep to the dinks and deft through-balls that enabled him to create two goals against Bastia.
Those were scored by the 23-year-old Matheus Carvalho, who Authentic Prada Factory Outlet Online has just joined on loan from Fluminense, and Anthony Martial, a 19-year-old striker who has scored in successive Ligue 1 matches for the first time after shining on the left wing at Arsenal. The left-back Layvin Kurzawa had a penalty saved against Bastia by Alphonse Areola, who had a habit of saving spot-kicks when the pair were part of the France team that won the Under-20 World Cup two year ago, but Kurzawas return to action after missing the first leg against Arsenal helps makes them stronger for the second.
Monaco have scored three goals in three of their past five matches C they suffered a 2-0 aggregate Cup defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the others C and are starting to create a lot of chances while continuing to keep opponents out. There is, then, increased risk of Arsenal being caught on the counterattack as they search for the goals they need. Wengers team need not abandon all hope C they did, after all, forge several openings in the first leg C but the odds are that they will wind up counting the cost of their misses in north London.