This Wednesday, May 26, Monaco secretly supported Manchester United. But it was not enough. The defeat of the Mancuniens in the final of the Europa League against Villarreal (1-1, 11-10 on penalties) sends the Monegasques to the third preliminary round of the Champions League. Third in Ligue 1, ASM could directly understand the group stage in the event of victory for the Red Devils, already qualified thanks to their second place in the Premier League.
This is real bad news for Monaco. The Principality club will indeed have to pass two preliminary rounds to enter the group stage of C1. Placed in the path of non-champions, Niko Kovac’s men play a third qualifying round in a two-way confrontation before, in case of victory, to play a jump-off, also in a round-trip.
– AS Monaco (@AS_Monaco) May 23, 2021
Beyond the two rounds to go to enter the group stage, Monaco will have to face teams of good level, where no margin will be allowed. Among the teams guaranteed to be in the third preliminary round, we find Benfica Lisbon, Spartak Moscow, Genk or even Shakhtar Donetsk and his new coach Roberto De Zerbi. Monaco are sure to be seeded and should therefore avoid Benfica in the third qualifying round.
Nice had to go through these preliminary rounds in 2017, after his third place in the league. The Aiglons had eliminated Ajax Amsterdam in the third round (3-3, qualified thanks to the but outside rule) before falling heavily against Naples in the play-offs (4-0 overall).
On the other hand, Olympique Lyonnais, in 2018 and 2019, then Stade Rennes in 2020, had directly joined the group stage of the Champions League thanks to the respective victories of Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea and Sevilla in C3 in previous years. .
In addition, Monaco already knows that it will have a particularly busy month of August with meetings every three days. The first leg of the third preliminary round is scheduled for August 3 or 4, 2021, while Ligue 1 resumes its rights the following weekend, August 6, 7 and 8.
The Monegasques could also be deprived of several players concerned by the 2021 Olympics. The French Olympic team plays its third group match on July 28. Especially in the event of a semi-final (August 3) or final (August 7) in Tokyo, the ASM players would miss at least the first leg of the third preliminary round. Axel Disasi, Benoît Badiashile, Aurélien Tchouaméni and Youssouf Fofana are notably selected with the Bleuets for the final phase of Euro U21 and could then fly to the Games.