Dimitar Berbatov key to Monaco stunning Arsenal

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Dimitar Berbatov could be the man to wreck Arsenal's Champions League hopes.

The Bulgarian is the talisman of the Monaco team that were paired with the English giants in Monday's draw for the last 16, and could replicate the form of yesteryear to stun the Premier League side when the teams clash in February.

Arsene Wenger's men have struggled for consistency this term, and could be there for the taking by the time the sides lock horns early into the New Year.

Marvellous maverick

Despite retirement edging closer by the year, Berbatov remains a marvellous maverick capable of scoring goals and producing the goods against the biggest teams on the planet.

His years in England with Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Fulham have made him a sensational player, and have also ensured the French side have coped admirably without Manchester United's Radamel Falcao in their ranks.

The Bulgarian has found the net five times in 12 appearances this term, though was absent as the Ligue 1 outfit edged league leaders Marseille on Sunday evening.

His return will provide extra momentum going into the New Year, and should have him in pristine condition by the time they travel to North London next year. 

Difficult task

Despite their rocky start to the season, Arsenal still have an outstanding squad that could prove too much for Leonardo Jardim's team. 

There were signs in the victory over Newcastle at the weekend of them beginning to hit top gear, with Olivier Giroud particularly excellent since returning from injury. 

Alexis Sanchez has taken the Premier League by storm with nine goals in 15 games, and if he is to carry that form onto the European stage it could spell an end to Monaco's chances of progression. 

Aaron Ramsey is also beginning to hit form, and scored a stunner as Arsenal thumped Galatasary in Turkey in their final game of the group stages.

Berbatov hopes

The burden of expectation in Monte Carlo will fall firmly on the languid shoulders of Berbatov, who could yet propel his side through to the quarter-finals.

He is yet to lift the game's biggest gong after experiencing disappointment in the final with United and Bayer Leverkusen in 2009 and 2002, and could be driven on by past failures to ruin Wenger's return to the Stade Louis Stadium. 

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AS Monaco
UEFA Champions League
Dimitar Berbatov

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