Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim has revealed at his pre-match press conference that he is still unsure whether Laywin Kurzawa and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco will be available for Wednesday night’s Champions League clash against Arsenal.
The pair picked up knocks in the weekend’s 1-0 win over Nice and, while both travelled to London ahead of the first-leg of their last-16 tie at the Emirates Stadium, Jardim has conceded that there remain doubts over their fitness.
"We still do not know if Carrasco and Kurzawa will be available for tomorrow,” he said. “In the past two years, Arsenal has improved a lot and will be a difficult game. Their fans are happy to play against Monaco? Even for our fans it is great to play against Arsenal.”
Jardim’s men have been in excellent form of late, losing just one of their past 17 matches in all competitions, while sitting fourth in Ligue 1 after 25 games.
The French outfit also managed to top their Champions League group ahead of Leverkusen, Zenit St Petersburg and Benfica despite scoring a meagre four goals in their six fixtures, having conceded just once.
Both Kurzawa and Carrasco have been a huge part of that success, with the former developing a reputation as one of Europe’s top emerging left-backs, and attracting interest from Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United in the process, per the Daily Star.
Carrasco, meanwhile, has earned rave reviews for his attacking contributions on the flanks, recording five goals and nine assists in 35 games this season, while receiving comparisons to Tottenham Hotspur star and fellow Belgian Nacer Chadli.
Having either out would be a big boost to Arsenal’s chances of sealing a win in the first-leg and, admit their uncertain status, Jardim is looking to former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov to replicate some of his past Premier League form on his return to north London.
“Obviously, the absences are important to us, but we must not think about that. We will stay true to our game, remaining solid defensively and work as a team,” he added. “But I also think that we can attack with quality and score a decisive goal.
“Berbatov is an important player in our structure, in finalizing the construction of the game. We also expect him to have a tactical role in the strength of the team.”