MX23RW : Sunday, April 21 04:58:12| >> :600:115298399:115298399:
Aug 25, 2015 at 7.45pm UK at ​Stade Louis II
Raggi (17'), Carrillo (75')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Negredo (4')

Preview: Monaco vs. Valencia

Sports Mole looks ahead to the second leg of the Champions League qualifier between Monaco and Valencia.

Valencia will believe that they have one foot in the group stages of the Champions League as they head to the Stade Louis II for the second leg of this qualifier.

Hosts AS Monaco have an away goal to their name from the first encounter in Spain, but the 3-1 deficit has made them the major underdogs.


Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim looks on during the Emirates Cup match between Valencia and AS Monaco at the Emirates Stadium on August 2, 2014© Getty Images

Having sprung something of a surprise to reach the quarter-finals of last season's Champions League, Monaco are now facing up to the prospect of a campaign without featuring in Europe's top club competition.

Although a comeback appears to be a tough ask, they can at least take some solace from their recent home record in European fixtures.

Of the last 11 visitors to the Stade Louis II, only Arsenal last term have left with a victory. During that time the Ligue 1 outfit have recorded six victories and drawn the other four encounters.

However, Leonardo Jardim could well be concerned by his side's domestic form heading into this fixture. While they are unbeaten in their opening three fixtures, recent draws against Lille and Toulouse came as a result of uninspiring performances.

What will also be a cause of concern for Jardim is the fact that Monaco have struggled to convert their chances. They actually had 13 shots in the Mestalla last week, which was three more than their Spanish counterparts.

With unanswered goals a necessity if the French team are to progress, Jardim will no doubt look to the likes of Stephan El Shaarawy and Anthony Martial to produce the goods.

Recent form: LLDWWL
Recent form (all competitions): WWWDLD


Valencia's new Portuguese coach Nuno Espirito Santo speaks during a press conference at the Ciudad Deportiva de Paterna training ground near Valencia on July 4, 2014© Getty Images

Sofiane Feghouli's goal four minutes from the end of the first leg could well prove itself to be a crucial moment when this tie is concluded.

Had Nuno Espirito Santo's men taken just a 2-1 lead with them to Southern France, it would be a much different prospect than the one that awaits them now.

As far as their European record is concerned, Los Che may have lost their last two away matches without scoring a goal, yet they can at least look back on a positive record in France. In 10 outings, they have been beaten just once, with four victories to boast.

There are those that believe only complacency will stop Valencia advancing, but Santo, who won the competition under Jose Mourinho's management at Porto in 2004, has warned his players not to get carried away by the result that they picked up in the opening leg.

"The result is there now - our objective was to win this tie. Now we will be going to Monaco to compete and we know what awaits us. Nothing is definitive in this competition and we will be going there with the same ambition to win. There are no favourites," he recently told reporters.

Valencia warmed up for this clash with a relatively mundane 0-0 draw away at Rayo Vallecano on the opening day of the new La Liga campaign on Saturday.

Recent form: WDWLDW
Recent form (all competitions): LDLLWD

Team News

Monaco's Italian forward Stephan El Shaarawy celebrates after scoring the 4-0 during the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round second leg football match between AS Monaco vs BSC Young Boys on August 4, 2015© Getty Images

He started among the substitutes in Valencia, but with Monaco in need of goals, summer signing from AC Milan El Shaarawy could well be included up front by Jardim.

Aside from that, it is unlikely that the Les Rouges et Blancs head coach will make any other alterations to his starting lineup.

As for Valencia, Mathew Ryan should keep his place in goal with Diego Alves ruled out, while with Nicolas Otamendi having recently switched to Manchester City, Ruben Vezo is expected to partner Shkodran Mustafi in defence.

Further forward, there have been suggestions that Paco Alcacer will be preferred to Alvaro Negredo.

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Subasic; Ragic, Carvalho, Wallace, Elderson; Fabinho, Toulalan, Pasalic; Silva, Martial, El Shaarawy

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Ryan; Barragan, Mustafi, Vezo, Gaya; Perez, Feghouli; Parejo, De Paul, Rodrigo; Alcacer

Head To Head

Prior to last week's encounter, the only other competitive meetings between these two clubs came during the first round of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1990.

The Spaniards won through 5-3 on aggregate, with a 3-3 draw having been played out at the Stade Louis II.

Nevertheless, Monaco have recorded some big home victories over Spanish opposition, including an 8-3 triumph over Deportivo La Coruna in 2003.

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We say: Monaco 1-1 Valencia

With a number of quality players in the squad, Valencia should be able to manage their way through this game and subsequently into the group stages of the Champions League. As Monaco push forward in search of goals, there is bound to be space to exploit.

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Who will advance through to the group stages of the Champions League at the Stade Louis II?

Valencia's forward Paco Alcacer celebrates his goal during the Spanish league football match Valencia CF vs Levante UD at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on April 13, 2015
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Preview: Valencia vs. Monaco

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