It has felt like a long summer for AS Monaco, with plenty of changes occurring, but they will be looking forward to getting things underway tomorrow evening against Swiss side BSC Young Boys. They will be much changed from the side that surprised everyone in Europe last season and whilst they still harbour quality, they have to be on their game against a potentially tricky opponent.
Leonardo Jardim has selected his 21-man squad for this two-legged qualifier, leaving out Bernardo Silva to rest after his incredible displays in the Under-21s European Championships. The roster includes new signings Thomas Lemar, Ivan Cavaleiro and Stephan El Shaarawy, who could make their debuts in Bern.
Young Boys manager Uli Forte has said that Monaco were their strongest possible opponent but there will be a few familiar names in their ranks. Former PSG and Bordeaux striker Guillaume Hoarau is unlikely to play with an injury, but Serbian international winger Miralem Sulejmani could start.
Stephan El Shaarawy (Monaco) – After losing Yannick Ferreira Carrasco to Atletico Madrid, Monaco couldn’t have hoped for a better signing than El Shaarawy. The clever Italian has shown glimpses of world class quality in the past and whilst injuries have hampered him in recent times, a good run with the principality side could see him reach the potential he’s shown previously.
Miralem Sulejmani (Young Boys) – Having showed a lot of promise back in Dutch football, Sulejmani has never reached the level expected of him. A poor few seasons at Benfica, albeit blighted by injury, led to his move to Switzerland where he’ll look to revive his career. Despite his decline, he’s still a good player that can certainly cause significant problems when on song.
This should be a Monaco win. They have lost a few players but they have replaced them with young, promising players who will look to gain valuable experience in this tie. Young Boys could cause a few issues early on as the principality club get into the swing of things but their quality will shine through in the end.
Result: 2-0 to Monaco