Arsenal target Joao Moutinho hoping to continue form against Toulouse

Joao Moutinho Portugal

Monaco look to make it two wins in a row this evening against Toulouse, but they will need more from midfielder Joao Moutinho.

AS Monaco’s season has been far from ideal, much like that of Arsenal and Manchester United target Joao Moutinho.

The Portuguese midfielder has been abandoned by former teammates Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez and left to carry the flag for new boss Leandro Jardim.

Both have found it difficult to find form. Jardim has been criticised for his tactical decisions and the performances from Moutinho have come under constant scrutiny as the young players look to the experienced midfielder for leadership.

Moutinho was given an assist for his role in Yannick Ferreira Carrasco’s goal on Tuesday night and that was his first of the season. Not the ideal return for the player that was expected to be Monaco’s main creative influence this season.

Monaco take on Toulouse at the Stade Municipal on Friday night and will look to Moutinho to add to that tally. The 2-0 win over Lens on Tuesday was their first win in four and against Alain Casanova’s TFC side; they will need to overcome one of the most unpredictable teams in Ligue 1.

The hosts have moved away from the established 3-5-2 and adopted a more attacking 4-2-3-1. They shocked Nantes at home on Tuesday, winning 2-1, a result that came off the back of a 3-2 defeat to Lorient. No-one knows what you are going to get from this inconsistent side.

Casanova had been juggling his three forwards - Wissam Ben Yedder, Martin Braithwaite and Alexander Pesic - but now with Braithwaite playing wide and Ben Yedder in the No. 10 role, all three should start on Friday night.

If Monaco want to qualify for Europe next season, they have to start winning difficult games now. Dimitar Berbatov is back amongst the goals, but just like Toulouse, they have lacked consistency.

Without Geoffrey Kondogbia, the midfield belongs to Moutinho, and if the Portuguese international wants to impress watching Premier League clubs, he needs to become the main man in the principality.

Probable line-ups

Toulouse: Ahamada – Ninkov, Spajic, Grigore, Moubandje – Didot, Aguilar – Braithwaite, Ben Yedder, Sylla – Pesic

Monaco: Subasic – Fabinho, Raggi, Abdennour, Diallo – Toulalan, Bakayoko, Moutinho – Germain, Ferreira Carrasco, Berbatov

 

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch