Arsenal get boost as injury problems mount for AS Monaco

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Arsenal could be given a major boost ahead of their Champions League last 16 first leg clash against AS Monaco on Wednesday, as the Ligue 1 club could haggle more than half a starting XI out injured.

According to the Daily Star, Arsene Wenger's old club have doubts over six of their first team stars and one of those has direct experience of how to defeat the Gunners, having years of Premier League experience.

Ricardo Carvalho was a key member of Jose Mourinho's first Chelsea sides, but he missed Monaco's win over Nice at the weekend and is a doubt for the clash at Emirates Stadium.

Defence is Monaco's biggest asset - they have conceded just three goals in their last 17 fixtures - but this is precisely where most of their doubts lie ahead of the match. Layvin Kurzawa had to go off after only 35 minutes at the weekend with a thigh problem, while Andrea Raggi is recovering from a knee injury.

A thigh injury is keeping out defensive midfielder Tiemoué Bakayoko, who was very impressive when Monaco defeated Arsenal in the Emirates Cup during pre-season. His midfield colleague Yannick Ferreira Carrasco was also injured at the weekend.

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Giant striker Lacina Traore has been missing for a while now and the report claims he is expected to undergo surgery on a stress fracture to his leg. Ex-Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur star Dimitar Berbatov is likely to be leading the line.

Wenger will have been worried about how his team were going to breach what has been an unbelievably frugal defensive unit in the past few months, so if all the players mentioned are missing the task will be considerably easier.

Are Arsenal Set to Fail?

Gunners fans greeted the draw with positivity after finishing second in their group once again left them with the fear that they would be drawing the likes of Bayern Munich or Barcelona again.

However, the north London team must be wary of complacency - it's not as if they are playing some nobodies from the Latvian second division. Monaco's recent defensive record is outstanding and manager Leonardo Jardim has them drilled exceptionally well.

Though Arsenal should be winning this tie and making the quarter-finals, so it would be criminal if, after so many years of getting the toughest last 16 draws, Wenger's men fell foul of lesser opponents.

What do you think will happen? Are Arsenal at risk of taking their opponents too lightly? Let us know by joining the debate below!

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Premier League
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