After succeeding in their second Ligue 1 victory of the season against Caen this past weekend, Thierry Henry’s AS Monaco side hope to affirm their new form with a win against Atletico Madrid in Champions League action. All eyes will be on captain Radamel Falcao who played for the Spanish adversary from 2011 to 2013 just before joining Monaco.
In AS Monaco’s latest Ligue 1 exploit against Caen, Radamel Falcao was decisive. By burying a wonderfully struck free kick in the back of Caen’s net, he scored the match’s only goal and lifted Monaco out of a 14 game winless slump. The Colombian stiker’s concentration before the strike was palpable, perhaps symbolic of the club’s frustrations and the need to turn a new page.
Who and what to expect on the field
Falcao’s determination and willingness to overachieve may help lift his side to a better psychological ground, especially if he can prove a good example for the youngsters that will be joining him on the field. Monaco has called up several youth players in order to fill their ranks against Atletico – a forced position as the roster counts numerous injuries.
The group: L.Badiashile, Benaglio – B.Badiashile, Jemerson, Raggi, Henrichs, Biancone, A.Silva – Chadli, Tielemans, Massengo, Thuram, Golovin, Ait – Bennasser, Grandsir, Diop – Sylla, Gouano, Falcao.
The next steps for Henry’s Monaco
Though the side has already been mathematically eliminated from the next round of the Champion’s League, a victory can help them qualify for the Europa League next season. Manager Thierry Henry, however, appears to have his eyes on more immediate success and is not putting much stock into the European competition.
With relegation a real threat (19th place on 10 points through 15 matches), the French skipper has a mountain of work ahead in order to save face for next season. A victory in Champions League play, though not strategically necessary, could be a psychological buoy for the struggling side to cling to for the task ahead.