Toulalan: Monaco-Arsenal tie is 50-50

The midfielder feels that the lack of pressure on the French club’s shoulders makes them dangerous last-16 opponents for the Gunners

Monaco midfielder Jeremy Toulalan believes his side have a strong chance of eliminating Arsenal from the Champions League.

The Ligue 1 runners-up have endured a tricky domestic season and were widely seen in the build up to the draw as the weakest of the group winners, but the 31-year-old believes the fixture against the English outfit will prove evenly balanced.

“It’s 50-50,” he said, before downplaying the significance of his side’s 1-0 Emirates Cup win in July.

“We won there in pre-season, but this is a completely different challenge.

“The Arsenal players are technical and quick. It will be really difficult.”

Toulalan believes his side’s defensive strength gives them a chance in the tie.

“We’ll go to the Emirates with our weapons calmly,” he continued.

“We’re not a team that’s easy to breakthrough. We’ll be fresh and we’ll have no pressure on us.”

Arsenal boast a large French contingent, while the tie will also mark a return to his old club for Arsene Wenger, who enjoyed a successful spell at Stade Louis II from 1987-94.

“I think it’ll please him to come back here, and the other French members in the Arsenal squad,” Toulalan explained. “I know Olivier Giroud well and it’ll be fun to be on the same field as him again.”

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