Ligue 1 side AS Monaco welcome Bayer Leverkusen to the Stade Louis II on Tuesday as the Champions League group stage gets back underway. The French club won their first European outing this season, defeating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Wembley earlier this month. That match came in the midst of an eight-match undefeated streak that was snapped in last week’s 4-0 loss to Nice.
But Monaco came roaring back this weekend, defeating Angers 2-1 with goals from Kamil Glik and Dickson Nwakaeme. That won put the principality outfit temporary league leaders before Nice claimed another win to return to the summit.
Monaco were made to come from behind in that match and have been letting in goals of late. This will be of particular concern as the French outfit tries to contain a Leverkusen attack spearheaded by the red-hot Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. The Mexico striker netted a hat-trick in Leverkusen’s 3-2 Bundesliga win over Mainz on Saturday.
Hernandez and Leverkusen have been finding their feet of late and will hope to improve upon their European opener this season – a 2-2 draw with CSKA Moscow earlier this month. The weekend hat-trick brought Chicharito’s tally to 21 goals in 32 Bundesliga outings since joining the club inn August of 2015.
Monaco on the other hand, are likely to be without their marquee striker. Radamel Falcao, who returned to the club after a troubled season on loan at Chelsea, spent the night in the hospital after taking a knock to the head against Nice. The Colombian missed the weekend’s clash against Angers and is in doubt for Tuesday.
Glik may have opened the scoring in that game but the center-back will likely be the man charged with trying to contain Chicharito. The Poland international who was signed from Torino this summer, has made a good account of himself in French football so far but will surely have his hands full as he tries to contain the likes of Chicharito and Stefan Kiessling.
The two teams last crossed paths in Europe two years ago. Monaco won both legs of that tie.
Watch Monaco host Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday, September 27 at 2:45pm ET on ESPN2.