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Who are Monaco's key players this season?

JUVE BETTER WATCH OUT: 5 Monaco players that the Bianconeri will have to keep eyes on

May 3, 2017 By Michelle Bonsu
Monaco has seemingly taken Europe by storm this season, and Les Rouges-et-Blancs are one of the most exciting sides on the continent. Who are their key players ahead of their UCL tie with Juventus?

They might be one of the younger sides in this tournament, but Monaco so far have beaten the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City to get to this juncture. Next up for them will be Italian giants Juventus, who are well known for their very strong defense. Having shut down Barcelona over 180 minutes, the Bianconeri have conceded just two goals in this tournament. Who are the key players who can make an impact for Monaco as they aim to take one step closer towards the finals? Let's have a look:

Radamel Falcao

After a difficult past few seasons in England, the Colombian attacker, once regarded as one of the game's top strikers, appears to have finally found his form again. Falcao, who struggled with injuries, thankfully has mostly remained off the treatment table this season. And his team have benefited from the captain's contribution. So far, he's netted 28 goals in 37 appearances for Monaco across all competitions. That includes five in this season's Champions League, and definitely will be one Juventus will have to keep their eye on during this tie.

Kylian Mbappe

Chances are, you probably had not heard of Kylian Mbappe prior to this season. Well, with 24 goals in 38 appearances across all competitions, including five in the Champions League, unless if you have been living in a cave somewhere, you certainly will now know who he is. Even more impressive is the fact that he's not always a starter. 11 out of his 14 Ligue 1 appearances have been off the bench, yet he's still managed to net 14 goals and chip in with five assists. His pace and trickery have been used to devastating effect - as fans saw during the tie with Borussia Dortmund - and he could cause some concerns for Juventus's defenders over the course of this two-legged series.

Thomas Lemar

13 goals and 10 assists across all competitions, which include two goals and four assists in the Champions League. It's no surprise that Monaco are the highest-scoring side in Europe, and 21-year-old French international Thomas Lemar has been impressing many with his confidence on the ball, as well as his lightning-quick pace. Deployed as a left-winger, he averages 2.8 dribbles per game in the Champions League, where he has made eight appearances, two of them as a sub. Predictably, he has been linked with a move abroad as many of Europe's other big sides, including Manchester City and Atletico Madrid have been rumored to be interested. 

And did you know that he was in the same Caen team as N'Golo Kante that were promoted during the 2013/2014 campaign?

Bernardo Silva

We can't talk about Lemar without mentioning his counterpart on the opposite wing. Like Lemar, Bernardo Silva is another young and promising talent. The 22-year-old Portuguese international has been also linked with a move to the Premier League or LaLiga, and has contributed six goals and nine assists for Monaco (in Ligue 1). He's also chipped in with two goals and one assist in the Champions League and averages 2.8 dribbles per match in this tournament, so naturally, he's another player that will be expected to ask serious questions of Juve's defense.

Benjamin Mendy & Djibril Sidibe

Monaco also have some pretty impressive talents in defense. Whilst they don't boast the record of Juventus, it's important to note that the bulk of their back-line are under 25 years old. Benjamin Mendy, who was signed from Marseille, is rapidly becoming a rising star across the continent. At 22 years old, he has made over 200 appearances since breaking into the first team with Le Havre during the 2011/2012 season, and despite his youth, has appeared quite confident and self-assured in his position as a left-back.

Mendy has averaged 2.7 tackles per match in the Champions League, whilst making five appearances (one as as sub). He's also averaged 2.2 dribbles per game in this tournament, showing that he's not afraid to get forward when needed, alongside his number on the opposite wing, 24-year-old Djibril Sidibe. 

Sidibe so far has made seven appearances in the Champions League, and averages 3.9 tackles and 1.4 interceptions, and enjoys bombing forward to join in on the attack. Another of Monaco's pacey players, he can play on either side of the pitch, but due to a reported injury, he may or may not feature, depending on how he fares after a fitness test.

Sidibe celebrates a goal in this season's UCL vs Tottenham

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