After consecutive years of Champions League round-of-16 heartache the common consensus is that Arsenal have finally been granted a winnable tie in 2014/15.
The Gunners are 11/20 to set up in the direction of the quarter finals by beating Monaco at the Emirates, with their visitors 23/4 underdogs and the draw a 3/1 shot.
However, those anticipating a stroll past the once-minted principality will be sorely mistaken, even if they have been struck by an untimely rash of injuries.
Leonardo Jardim’s grinders par excellence are 7/4 to avoid defeat in north London and here’s why they can do just that.
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Monaco have kept five clean sheets in their last seven away games.
Les Rouges et Blancs have won five of their last seven outings on the road despite scoring no more than one in four of those fixtures.
A rock solid rearguard can take the plaudits and it’s one that has already proved its chops in knockout action when providing the basis for eliminating Ligue 1 leaders Lyon from the French Cup at Stade de Gerland in December.
Monaco conceded just once in the Champions League group stage.
It’s not just at a domestic level that Jardim’s side have proved tough nuts to crack as they negotiated three away games in their section for the loss of a solitary strike, their sole concession in the opening six outings of the competition
That’s one goal fewer than reigning champions Real Madrid, two less than last year’s beaten finalists Atletico Madrid and two less than 2013/14 last-four side Chelsea.
Losing key players doesn’t seem to effect their performance levels.
Main men Ricardo Carvalho and Jeremy Toulalan are both missing from the squad to face the Gunners, but their absence is unlikely to see Monaco fold.
They have won 46 per cent of Toulalan’s starts this term losing 21 per cent, but 50 per cent of those he’s failed to start have ended in victory with only 17 per cent lost.
Meanwhile, being without Carvalho could be a genuine bonus – they’ve won a mere 36 per cent of the games in which he’s made the XI, compared to 68 per cent of those when he’s not been in from the off.