AS Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim has admitted that Arsenal will be favourites to win the Champions League last-16 tie between the two teams.
Ligue 1 outfit Monaco and the Gunners will take on each other for a place in the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition.
“Arsenal are a very good team,” Jardim told Monaco’s official website. “They will be favourites. Arsenal are accustomed to this type of big matches, which is why they are favourites for me. But we will play to win as always.
Jardim seems to have resigned to losing the encounter against Arsenal, or maybe he is just stating the obvious.
Despite Arsenal’s struggles in the Premier League and the fact that the first leg of the last-16 tie will be played at the Emirates Stadium, the North London outfit will indeed be favourites.
As Jardim points out, Arsenal have some quality players and a much better team than Monaco. With Germany international playmaker Mesut Ozil expected to return in the New Year, manager Arsene Wenger’s squad will be very strong by February.
This does not mean that it is a given that Arsenal will ease past Wenger’s former club Monaco, who can stage an upset, but they will certainly be delighted with the draw.