UEFA Champions League football – AS Monaco – the group versus Bruges.

Tonight, AS Monaco will be on the road for their third Champions League fixture of the year, traveling to confront FC Bruges. New head coach Thierry Henry has assembled twenty players who will attempt to mount a victory for the first time this season in Champions League competition.

The Monégasques and FC Bruges currently share last place in Group A with 0 points each after two matches. Tonight’s clash in Belgium will determine what team stays at the bottom beneath Dortmund (6 points) and Atlético Madrid (6 points).

Injured and Vulnerable

Injured during their last Ligue 1 outing in Strasbourg, star attacker Radamel Falcao will not join the team. He will remain in the Principality to rest and recuperate from a strained left thigh, as will number one goalkeeper Danijel Subasic. The latter’s absence is beginning to take a major toll on his team, though he did not impress during his Champions League match against Dortmund when he let in three goals.

In that respect, Thierry Henry will be thankful for the return from the injured reserve of defenders Andrea Raggi and Jemerson and will have to be hopeful about Diego Benaglio’s form in goal. Benaglio will most likely start the match for the Monégasque side with backup provided by Yanis Henin (20 years-old) and Loïc Badiashile. This is speculative, however as Henry was quick to comment during last night’s press conference: “I cannot tell you anything about the goalkeepers. We’ll see what happens at training.” Seydou Sy is not eligible for Champions League action this season.

The complete group traveling to Bruges:

  • Goalkeepers:Benaglio, Badiashile, Henin
  • Defenders: Barreca, Glik, Henrichs, Jemerson, Raggi, Sidibe, Touré
  • Midfielders: Aholou, Ait-Bennasser, Chadli, Golovin, Tielemans, Traore, Diop
  • Attackers: Jovetic, Mboula, Sylla

A Positive Front

Henry assured the press of his positive approach to Monaco’s participation in the Champions League this season: “The Champions League is a dream. We will play for it and use the opportunity to regain our confidence.”

The new skipper is certainly within his rights in stimulating positive energy around his team. One solid performance can perhaps become a building block for Les Rouges et Blancs who could use a turn of fortune after a difficult start to the season.

Kick-off is at 6:55 PM.