At 3-1 down from the first leg following a miserable night at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal have already been written off by many as they fight to stay alive in the Champions League.
Stranger things have happened than a three-goal Gunners win in the Principality though, right? And here are 10 reasons to believe that all is not lost.
1. They’re In Good Form
Since that miserable North London night in the first leg, the Gunners have won all four of their matches against Everton, QPR, Manchester United and West Ham – hitting top form in the latter two to progress in the FA Cup and consolidate in the top four of the Champions League.
2. And Their Away Form Is Brilliant Too
The Gunners have won six of their last eight away games, including matches at the Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford. Chill, they’ve got this.
So a 3-1 deficit isn’t that bad, really.
4. Arsene Wenger Won’t Tolerate Defeat
To Monaco? Back at the ground where he used to manage? This would be a spectacular failure even by his and Arsenal’s standards, and there mere thought of it just has to inspire his team to do something, right?
And if ever a performance can be described as a ‘frozen lobster’ it was that one in the first leg.
Monaco v Arsenal: 10 Vital Statistics
6. Olivier Giroud Can’t Be That Bad Again
The Frenchman has had a good season, but he chose the worst possible night to confirm all of the concerns that many people have about him. Missing sitter after sitter against Monaco hasn’t harmed his confidence too much though, and he’s scored in all three of his Premier League games since the defeat – including a cracker against West Ham on Saturday.
7. The Obligatory Istanbul Reference
English teams in Europe, and all that. Perhaps Arsene should sign Djimi Traore?
8. Monaco Might Be Complacent
Sitting on a 3-1 lead and with a fantastic defensive record, Monaco will doubtless be caught in two minds as they enter battle at the Stade Louis II. Sit back and invite pressure onto them and they could end up in trouble if Arsenal can take the lead on the night.
9. Per Mertesacker Has Remembered How To Play Football Since The First Leg
Terrible against Monaco at the Emirates, and then dropped in favour of Gabriel Paulista, the big German has responded with three decent displays against QPR, Manchester United and West Ham, which is enough to make him smile again.
But the same isn’t true of Mesut Ozil. Honestly.
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