Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 9/2
Record attendance is expected at Wembley Stadium as Tottenham prepare to welcome Monaco in the UEFA Champions League group stage opener outside under-construction White Hart Lane.
Premier League side Tottenham return to Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in six seasons. Pitted against the likes of Bayern Munich and reigning Russia Premier League champions CSKA Moscow, the Spurs might be led to believe that on the first blush Monaco are the group E’s minnows, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men should be wary of the challenge that lies ahead. Following a highly successful Premier League season, Tottenham Hotspur have gone through a relatively quiet summer with Mauricio Pochettino adding not many new faces to his crop of players. It is not necessary a bad thing as Spurs will now have a more gelled team at their disposal, with players who know exactly what to do to please their manager. Spurs had a perfect introduction for their UEFA Champions League opener as they are coming off from a compelling 4-0 win over Stoke City. Spurs have either drawn or won their four opening games of the new season and will be hoping to steady the course against Monaco. Wembley Stadium will be a great motivation for Tottenham’s players, but it can also be a burden as well.
After an impressing performance on Saturday, both Heung-Min Son and Christian Eriksen could expect to be included in the starting line-up.
Moussa Dembele is suspended for the occasion, while Danny Rose is struggling with a hamstring strain and is likely to miss the match.
Leonardo Jardim’s men arrive to England on the back of a fantastic form. Having opened the season with a 2-2 stalemate against Giungamp, the Principality club have gone on to notch five straight victories in all competitions, which only come as a huge confirmation of their formidable shape. Heading into their first Champions League match in the group stage, Monaco will be looking to build up on their playoff success. Jardim’s men have secured their place at the tournament through a 3-1 aggregate win over Spanish Villarreal and will surely lack no motivation coming to Wembley. Monaco’s young and talented squad has continued to impress with a huge 3-1 triumph over French champions PSG and even more comprehensive 4-1 win at Lille, which allowed them to grab hold of the leading position at the French Ligue 1 standings making them genuine contenders early in the season. The impressive start to the new season has particularly highlighted the Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, who was a target for Manchester United late in the summer. Formerly a full-back, the 22-year-old has scored three goals so far and put in a number of commanding displays that make his a proper leader of Monaco’s young side anchored by several experienced veterans that add serious depth to Jardim’s team.
Colombia striker Falcao has recovered from his injury and could be deployed against Totteham, as his Premier League experience could offer a different perspective in the game.
Leonardo Jardim is however faced with a number of selection headaches with the likes of Danijel Subasic, Benjamin Mendy, Thomas Lemar, Guido Carillo and Kylian Mbappe all unavailable due to their respective injuries.
Key Factors to Consider
- Tottenham host Monaco at Wembley Stadium as White Hart Lane is under construction
- Monaco travel to England on the back of 5 consecutive victories
- Spurs return to the UEFA Champions League after five years of absence
- Tottenham won only 2 of their last 5 home matches
- The Principality club have notched three straight victories on the road
Monaco are visiting Tottenham feeling buoyed by their fantastic start to the new season. Leonardo Jardim has got a talented squad at his disposal, able to inflict a huge blow to Tottenham’s early ambitions in the Champions League. Outside their White Hart Lane and inside the Wembley Stadium, Spurs might be under pressure to deliver and it can come back to haunt them. We predict a highly entertaining game and are prone to go for a surprise away win this time.
Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 9/2