20 March 2015
Monaco ended a nine-year Champions League exile when they qualified for the competition thanks to last year’s second place Ligue 1 finish.
They topped Group C with 11 points, beating Bayer Leverkusen (twice) and Zenit along the way, and only slipped to one defeat, against Benfica in Lisbon.
A memorable night at the Emirates Stadium saw them seize the initiative with a last 16 3-1 first leg win and despite a few nervy moments in the return tie, which Arsenal won 2-0, they managed to hold on to progress on away goals.
The three rifled in London were somewhat of an anomaly given their low scoring rate throughout the competition, with just seven goals making them the least prolific attack among the remaining eight clubs.
It is a different story down the other end, though, where they possess the competition’s most brittle defence with just four goals conceded.
Monaco currently sit fourth in their domestic championship, six points behind leaders PSG (58) with a game in hand. Where they do top the charts is in the clean sheet field, with 15 defensive shutouts making them the league’s best rearguard.
They are in decent form at present, having bounced back from a 2-0 home defeat against PSG to record three consecutive successes over Bastia, Evian and most recently Reims.
Previous European ties
The first leg of April’s double header will mark the third time the Bianconeri have squared up with Monaco. In the 1997/98 semi-final Juventus emerged victorious over two legs, winning 4-1 at home thanks to an Alessandro Del Piero hat-trick before slipping to a 3-2 defeat in France.
Monaco have faced Italian sides in Europe on 11 occasions and possess a record of four wins, two draws and five defeats. The only team from Italy to beat them on home soil is Inter, who recorded a 3-1 triumph back in 1963.