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Man City v Monaco: Talking Points

JUST CHAMPION: Kevin De Bruyne in action earlier in the competition

JUST CHAMPION: Kevin De Bruyne in action earlier in the competition

We take a look at four points to consider ahead of Manchester City's Champions League first leg tie against Monaco at the Etihad Stadium.

1 Monaco threat

The Principality side have been in devastating scoring form this season, netting a remarkable 26 goals more than their nearest rivals PSG in Ligue 1. Radamel Falcao is the top scorer but Monaco are by no means reliant on the Colombian, with Bernardo Silva, the much-lauded Kylian Mbappe-Lottin, Thomas Lemar, Gabriel Boschilia and Guido Carrillo also regular contributors. Keeping a clean sheet at the Etihad Stadium will be difficult, but hugely valuable given the away goals rule at play in the Champions League.

2 Squad selection

City’s squad list for the second phase of the Champions League contains two new names. One of them, Gabriel Jesus, is out with injury but the other, Yaya Toure, could have a key role to play. Against such a dangerous side controlling possession becomes ever more important, and few do it better than the big Ivorian. Elsewhere others could come back into the starting line up following the draw with Huddersfield. Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are among those pushing for a recall.

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3 Flexible friends

The game comes just three days after a hard-fought FA Cup game at Huddersfield. That means tonight’s match will require stamina and versatility, with Monaco posing a different kind of threat to the Terriers. City haven’t played in Europe since seeing out Group stage qualification against Celtic on December 6. One thing is guaranteed though: there will be little time for readjustment to Europe’s elite club competition.

4 Experience

Last season’s run to the UCL semi-finals should give City an innate belief going into this game. Progressing in Europe is more often than not a lengthy process, built up over years of education and experience of a competition. A combination of self-belief and a healthy respect for the opposition should put City in the right frame of mind to perform.

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Champions League football makes an eagerly anticipated re-appearance at the Etihad Stadium tonight, so naturally, journalists have plenty to write about this morning.

Tuesday's look at the City-centric headlines.