On Tuesday night, Monaco have the chance to put themselves firmly in the frame for a top three finish.
For the last few months of the season, the Ligue 1 title race has been between just three teams, but on Tuesday night AS Monaco have a chance to join Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon and Marseille with a genuine chance at pushing for the Championship.
After a slow start, Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho has really impressed in recent weeks. If the little playmaker can inspire his team to victory over Montpellier, on one hand he will impress on-looking scouts, but he will also give Les Monegasques a great chance of holding on to the man reported by the Daily Mail to still be in the plans of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
Before the January transfer window, the interest from Manchester United and the North London club seemed laughable as the Portuguese international had been a shell of the player that had impressed for both Sporting Lisbon and FC Porto.
Moutinho had been the third big name move when Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez joined the club, but his performances had seen his big name player tag quickly slip, with other, younger Monaco players catching the eye on a more frequent basis.
Impressive in the Champions League against Arsenal, it has been the three assists in the last three games that have caught the eye more and on the back of Monaco’s defensive excellence, Leonardo Jardim’s side are now pushing for another top three finish.
On Tuesday night they face seventh place Montpellier knowing that a victory would bring them level on points with Olympique de Marseille. Marcelo Bielsa’s side are on the slide, giving Monaco the perfect opportunity to steal in for a chance at returning to the Champions League next season.
Success in finishing third would boost Monaco’s chances of further growing their squad next season and could give them a chance of holding on to Moutinho this summer, staving off advances and making the Portuguese midfielder one of the most important members of the squad.
AS Monaco v Montpellier HSC - 18:00 Kick-Off