With only two points in four matches, a win is Monaco’s only chance to reach the latter stages of the Champions League or even the Europa League, and even that might not be enough.
“At the moment, qualifying does not depend on us,” admitted manager Leonardo Jardim. “Qualifying for Europa League, yes […]. Either way, we have to win. Any other result will see the two objectives fall away.”
Monaco also have to count on Porto defeating Istanbul in the evening’s other Group G match.
Istanbul need at least a point to guarantee a place among the last 16, and could finish top with a win, while Porto need victory with Leipzig just two points behind them.
If Monaco lose, the semi-finalists of last year’s tournament will be eliminated from all European competitions this year.
But goalkeeper Danijel Subasic remained optimistic, even looking ahead to the sixth group match in December.
“There are two finals, this is the first, and I know we have what it takes to get three points,” Subasic said. “We don’t think we will be eliminated. In our minds, the idea is to win the game, just like in any game we play.”