This area is key if Arsenal want to beat Monaco

Arsenal should be too strong for Monaco, but they need to be smart and attack down the channels to beat the Ligue 1 side.

It is expected that Arsenal will have too much for Monaco as they face off at the Emirates Stadium for the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash.

Although Monaco won the group, they were one of the weakest top seeds left in the competition.

Arsenal should be too good for the French side, but that doesn't mean they can take them lightly. To beat Monaco, Arsene Wenger's men have to play smart and hit the Ligue 1 side where they are weakest.

Only five teams in the French league have scored fewer goals than Monaco, with only three players having scored more than twice this season.

Monaco's attacking strength comes from playing on the counter-attack. They will sit back, defend in numbers and look to hit on the break. The pace of Yannick Ferreira Carrasco down the wings and the drive of Bernardo Silva from the midfield will be the best hope of the French side stealing a goal from the Emirates. Although they have only scored 26 goals in 25 games, they have found the net 14 times on their travels.

Arsenal will need to play smart, it is obviously important that they play on the front foot, but they need to do it with one eye on providing cover in defence. If they leave themselves exposed at the back, they could be punished on the break.

Monaco are quite a tall team. Both centre-backs are dominant in the air, and the full-backs often tower above opposing wingers. Then they have the likes of Geoffrey Kondogbia, Ferreira Carrasco and Dimitar Berbatov who are also good in the air.

The best way for Arsenal to breach this stubborn Monaco defence is to attack down the wings. French defences don't face wingers every week - in fact they are very rare in France - players are more inclined to cut inside than hit the by-line.

Arsenal need to give the Monaco defence something new to deal with. Hit the channels, make them turn around and run towards their own goal.

Crosses into the box will be vital. Launching them high and Wallace and Aymen Abdennour will eat them up all day, get them turned around and played in low and Monaco will find it hard to deal with it for the full 90 minutes.

Going wide is Arsenal's best plan for success. If they can breach the Monaco defence once, Leonardo Jardim's side could crumble in London. Play into Monaco's hands and it will be a frustrating night in North London.

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