Monaco face tough warm-up before Arsenal clash on Tuesday

AS Monaco FC Bus

Before Monaco try and knock Arsenal out of the Champions League, they need to worry about the threat of Ligue 1 side Bastia on Friday.

Monaco welcome Bastia to the Stade Louis II on Friday evening in their last warm-up game before they welcome Arsenal to the Cote d'Azur on Tuesday night for the second-leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

It will not be an easy game for Les Monegasque club, with Bastia resurgent in 2015 under the guidance of Ghislain Printant - the man who took over from Claude Makelele in November.

At the end of 2014, Bastia were the favourites to be relegated to Ligue 2, but under new management they have climbed out of the drop-zone and have become a very difficult team to beat.

It was only last month that 4,000 fans from Corsica travelled to the principality for the Coupe de la Ligue semi-final and inspired their club to a penalty shoot-out win over Leandro Jardim's side.

Bastia have only lost once in their last 17 games, recording eight wins, eight draws and just one defeat. Monaco are also in great form, buoyed by that victory at the Emirates, but their home record isn't wonderful, with five wins, six draws and two defeats. Three of those five wins have come by a single goal. Unfortunately for Arsenal, none of those defeats were by more than two goals, meaning their job will be as tough as ever.

Arsenal will hope that Bastia can give Monaco a tough, hard-fought battle, softening them up for Tuesday's game. Jardim's side are looking to secure a place in the top three, so they can't fully prioritise Tuesday's game, Friday night is just as important.

Geoffrey Kondogbia, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Jeremy Toulalan will miss the game, but hopes are they will be fine for Tuesday. Andrea Raggi is also missing and Wallace continues his suspension, but Ricardo Carvalho makes his return.

Jardim could rest Dimitar Berbatov for the game, with Anthony Martial leading the line.

Bastia are without former Arsenal defender Sebastien Squillaci, captain Yannick Cahuzac and creator Ryad Boudebouz. Impetus will be on young Francois Kamano and new signing Giovanni Sio to provide the goal threat.

Monaco will be looking to win without exhausting themselves for Tuesday's game. Victory would put pressure on Marseille, pulling the club within three points, with a game in hand.

Possible XIs

Monaco - 4-2-3-1: Subasic - Touré, Carvalho, Abdennour, Kurzawa - Fabinho, Moutinho - Dirar, Silva, Matheus - Martial

Bastia - 4-2-3-1: Areola - Diakite, Modesto, Peybernes, Palmieri - Romaric, Gillet - Kamano, Danic, Ayite - Sio

KOL 19:30 - on BT Sport Extra

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