Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has told the Daily Telegraph he feels the key for his old side against Monaco lays in midfield and up front.
Smith has suggested that Arsenal need to take control of the space in midfield, with Olivier Giroud a key figure up front in attack.
“Giroud offers team-mates a more direct route. Hit the Frenchman in the box and get bodies around – it is not Arsenal’s normal way but, under the circumstances, offers a viable path,” wrote Smith.
“If the visitors do not squeeze their hosts, a lot of room in midfield should allow Arsenal to get a firm grip.”
Arsenal have the home advantage in the first leg this evening and they need to try and build an advantage, which they can protect looking ahead to the second game.
Giroud is a much better striker than being a straight up target man, but Smith is right to suggest that the Gunners should use him in that way if they’re struggling to break through with their conventional style of play.
For Arsenal to dominate the midfield areas, they need to pass well and win possession back quickly when Monaco do get possession.
If they can maintain the waves of constant pressure over the Monaco defence, there is enough creativity and attacking talent in Arsenal’s team to be able to break through.
Keep their foot on the gas after a good start and the Gunners could quickly be out of sight, leaving Monaco with a mountain to climb in terms of coming back into the match.