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Manchester City vs. AS Monaco, 2017 Champions League: Players to Watch

Back for the round of sixteen!

AS Monaco FC Training Session and Press Conference Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

After a tough 0-0 draw against Huddersfield Town, Manchester City face a tie against Ligue 1 leaders AS Monaco in the first leg of the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League.

While City were without a win this weekend, they have been on good form in recent weeks. They have not lost any of their last six games, winning four and drawing twice.

However, AS Monaco are flying just as high as City, as they are three points ahead of PSG in the Ligue 1 race, and have gone undefeated in their last seven away matches. Monaco provide an interesting matchup for City, with both teams looking to attack frequently to win games and often concede their fair share of goals.

Monaco and City have been circulating in transfer rumors leading up to the match, as sources from across Europe have reported that Pep Guardiola is interested in the services of left-back Benjamin Mendy and winger Thomas Lemar. This match faces some high tension and media attention, and the tie between the two could be a shootout.

Here’s a look at some players who could make a big impact on this game.

Kamil Glik

Monaco’s top defender, Glik has only missed one match all season when he was given a day off during Monaco’s group stage match against Bayer Leverkusen, with the French side having already secured a spot in the knockout stage. Glik has always been a mainstay in the Monaco lineup since his arrival in July of last summer, and he will mast the defense against City.

Look for the Polish defender to shine in the attack as well with an excellent passing ability and five goals thus far for Monaco. Glik holds a vital role in the lineup, and look for him to perform if they come out on top.

Willy Caballero

Caballero has made two appearances in the Champions League in his career, both coming this season. After sitting on the bench against Huddersfield, it remains to be seen if Willy will retain his role in the starting lineup on Tuesday.

Claudio Bravo made some fantastic saves to hold the clean sheet, and he showed flashes of his former glory with Barça. Nonetheless, whichever City goalkeeper that starts against Monaco needs to be prepared for a strong attack which can exploit the defense.

Falcao García

What a comeback for the Colombian striker! After his period in the Premier League with Manchester United and Chelsea ended in shambles, Falcao has made a fantastic return to form in France. He has scored 18 goals in 23 appearances, and has a crazy average of 77 minutes per goal.

The 31 year old has wonderful finishing ability and produces 2.7 shots per game, a number that could threaten the City defense if he shoots on target. Falcao is a great player who struggled to produce in England, but that could all change if he puts his name on the scoresheet at the Etihad.

Kevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne always shines in his role as City’s main creator, and the Belgian looks ready to show off his skills against Monaco. While he has not assisted recently in the Premier League, he has scored twice in his last five matches for the Citizens. His contributions to the attack often go unnoticed, as most of the numbers go towards other players with assists and goals.

De Bruyne still leads the Premier League with 2.8 key passes a game and 2.2 crosses a game, though, and his passing ability is world class. Hopefully City’s maestro can bring these numbers into the match against AS Monaco to earn the victory.