1) Firstly, congratulations on an excellent first leg performance. Were you surprised at the result?
Thank you, sorry I can't wish you the same result tonight!! Lol. I think the world of football was surprised at the result. Arsenal were favourites before the game. Maybe Arsenal underestimated Monaco, and they probably thought "It's gonna be easy". However, Monaco isn't the same sort of team that you have in Premier League. Strong defence, and fast on the counterattack. Moreover, the team was very very, realistic !
2) Monaco are known for strong defensive qualities, what makes your team so good at the back?
This year Monaco is the best defensive team in Champion's League AND in our Championship (Ligue 1) with twenty goals against. I can explain that, because at the start of the season 14-15, Leonardo Jardim tried to play mostly in the attack. But we gave away many goals (4 against Bordeaux, 3 against Lorient...) so he changed our strategy completely and he put the defensive line below. Gradually, recruits and the players already at the club began to work together and it makes the team strong. The spine of the team is very important too, with Toulalan, Kondogbia or Bakayoko and also Fabinho, who makes formidable work of recovery
3) With your defenders back in the team, are you confident of going through?
The return of Carvalho is a good thing for us. He has a big experience in Champion's League and he knows how to manage this type of game. But if he isn't 100% ready, maybe Wallace will play. I can't guess which team Jardim can choose tomorrow. Will Toulalan return in the middle? Is Carvalho ready to start the game? Fabinho on right or in the middle?
We have many possibilities, not like the first match! Jardim has to choose the best solution. But like we said it's "a rich's problem!" So I'm confident with the defensive work of the team tomorrow. They have pressure, cause we have to keep the score at 0-0 as long as possible.
4) Which Arsenal players do you worry about the most?
Alexis is your best weapon to this game. He is able to vary his game to offer many solutions for Arsenal. If tomorrow Carvalho is holder ("Titulaire", i'm not sure about the translate of the word) - If he starts the match - he could rapidly be overtaken by Alexis. I'm "happy" that Oxlade-Chamberlain is absent for this game, cause he brings a lot in the attack to. (His goal in the first leg was magnific !). I'm also a little afraid by Giroud. His performance in the first leg was catastrophic, and he would certainly like to redeem himself. Our fans teased him and he certainly won't forget that!
I don't know if Walcott is going to play? If he is, he can be an other big danger for Monaco. Especially if he is against Kurzawa. The French defender has not completely returned to his level he had before his injury. Theo can make fire in his lane.
5) Will Monaco sit back and defend or will they try and score to kill the tie?
I hope Monaco will do the same match as the first leg. Strong defence, big work in the middle of the pitch, pressing every time. And if the defence is our main strength, WE HAVE TO PLAY and not stay at the back ! Arsenal is coming to play and attack. If we stay back, it's not safe enough to qualify. If we score 2 goals, Arsenal will have to score fourth, and it's more security.
So am I confident? Yes, cause the score is to our advantage, but a surprise is always possible. I Think it's 70/30% for Monaco.
6) Any other thoughts?
I think tomorrow is going to be an epic game between two good teams. Arsenal is going to score so we will certainly see goals. I hope Monaco is going to play, and not wait in the back of the ground. It's a special game for us. Two years ago, we played in second division against Angers. Today we are going to fight against Arsenal, and possibly come back in the quarter finals of Champion's League.
You have to win the Premier League this year. Chelsea and City are less attractive than Gunners in my opinion. So, concentrate yourself on championship and let us go in quarter final of UCL :p
Thank you to Pierre Caron (@PierreCaron31) for his thoughts. Personally I hope they do well in their championship and they let us through instead but that's just my opinion.
More match stuff as the day unfolds.