In the hell of a sold-out Philips Stadion, AS Monaco will have to be big to get PSV Eindhoven out of their way which should eventually take them to the Champions League group stage. Despite the draw (1-1) in the Principality in the first leg, ASM has confidence in its strike force.
“I don’t need more confidence. We don’t need it. The trust is there. » It’s hard to say if all the ASM players are pumped up, a few hours before a European meeting as essential as it is perilous in the Netherlands in the den of PSV Eindhoven, after the draw (1-1) unchecked on the way. What is certain, however, is that their trainer Philippe Clément does not hesitate to show his muscles. While respecting the opponent: “PSV are a good team, they showed it during the Dutch Supercup by scoring 5 goals at Ajaxcontinued the asemist coach in a pre-match press conference. He still put 4 this weekend. He has a very strong offensive force. But we are also aware of our qualities. The players have worked really hard over the past few weeks to be ready. Not everyone is yet, but more and more players are. »
It’s time for the ASM era
How could it have been otherwise, after this authoritarian success won in Strasbourg (2-1) this Saturday afternoon. A meeting where the ASM took a few waves, especially in the second half, but where it above all demonstrated an ability to control the debates and to hurt one of the most attractive teams in France last year. This demonstration of force is materialized by the flashes of Krépin Diatta, the activity and the sense of the goal of Sofiane Diop or the movements of the rookie Breel Embolo. The very illustration of a rich offensive sector, which also includes a Gelson Martins in the legs, a voluntary Takumi Minamino and especially the Kevin Volland-Wissam Ben Yedder duo who will also be traveling to the Netherlands. This explains the high level of confidence in the blood of their Flemish coach: “For me, mentally, we are the favorites (…) The two teams are very close, each with their own qualities. We want to show that we were the better team in both games. We were on the first as shown by all our opportunities. We will try to be again. »
For the Rock, but also for France
Walk the talk, that’s what the men on the diagonal are now missing, playing big this Tuesday night. On the one hand because the formation of Ruud van Nistelrooy is also a hit at the start of the season and it is not the poor formation of FC Emmen, swept away 4-1 this weekend by the Boren, which will say the opposite. On the other hand, because a second failure at the gates of the group stage of the C1 would be a persistent failure for Monaco, but also for all of French football. Already stopped short last year by Chakhtior Donetsk at the play-off stage (0-1, then 2-2 ap; being one of the first victims of the stoppage of the away goal rule), an exit from the road in the third preliminary round, a real blow to the Monegasque sporting project, but also potentially to the UEFA index of French clubs. As pointed out The TeamFrance is closely followed by the Netherlands in the UEFA index and has only a little more than 2000 points ahead of the Batavian representatives as the reform of the Champions League by 2024 looms. 2025. A season where France, currently 5e in the standings, could have four representatives in C1 including three directly qualified for the group stage. If this fifth is stung by the Dutch and France passes sixth, it will only have three qualified, two of them directly. It is therefore in the interest of everyone, but above all of Monegasques, that ASM returns to the Philips Stadion this Tuesday evening and reaches the C1 play-offs where it would find Union Saint-Gilloise or Glasgow Rangers, defeated by the Belgians (2-0) in the first leg. In short, the road to the hens is strewn with multiple pitfalls. It’s up to Monaco to overcome them one by one.
By Andrea Chazy