Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim is set to field an attacking 4-4-2 line-up – with loan returnees Radamel Falcao and Valère Germain up front – against Fenerbahçe in the Champions League third qualifying round on Wednesday.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
UEFA Champions League, third qualifying round
Ülker Stadium, Istanbul
Fenerbahçe SK – AS Monaco
Jardim has earned a reputation for being a defence-minded coach, rarely playing more than one striker at a time, but as his side look to make a dent in the away leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie with Fenerbahçe in Istanbul on Wednesday, the Portuguese tactician is tipped to field an attacking line-up.
Although Monaco made it into the play-offs last season, they fell at the final hurdle thanks mainly to a 3-1 defeat in Valencia. So, in a bid to register some precious away goals on Wednesday, Jardim is set to pair Falcao, back in the principality after two seasons in the EPL, with Germain, who is coming off a superb loan season at Nice that featured 14 goals and six assists.
The strike duo have performed well in pre-season and will need to continue to be on point if they are to get past Fenerbahçe’s three-man central defence of Martin Skrtel, Simon Kjaer and Roman Neustädter. In midfield, Fabinho and Tiemoué Bakayoko will look to control the centre while Nabil Dirar and rising star Thomas Lemar will provide impetus out wide.
Menawhile in defence, there will be three new faces, with newly signed full-backs Djibril Sidibé (LOSC) and Benjamin Mendy (Olympique de Marseille) to make their club debuts. It will also be a first for veteran Italian ‘keeper Morgan De Sanctis, signed in the summer and called up to deputise for Danijel Subasic (groin) behind a central defensive pairing of Andrea Raggi and Marcel Tisserand, back from a season-long loan in Toulouse.
UEFA Euro 2016 champion with Portugal João Moutinho, newly signed Poland international Kamil Glik and UEFA European Under 19 Champion with France Kylian Mbappé have all been rested but could feature in the return leg in Monaco in a week’s time.
Fenerbahçe SK: Ertugul; Skrtel, Kjaer, Neustadter; van der Wiel, Josef, Ucan, Tufan, Kaldirim; Emenike, Fernandao
AS Monaco: De Sanctis; Sidibé, Raggi, Tisserand, B. Mendy; Dirar, Fabinho, T. Bakayoko, Lemar; Germain, Falcao