Monaco pin hopes on talent for European recoveries

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The Independent Football

Comebacks in the Champions' League are something of a specialty for Monaco, so overturning a one-goal deficit against PSV Eindhoven in their first knock-out round tie at Stade Louis II tonight should not hold too much fear for Didier Deschamps' team.

Comebacks in the Champions' League are something of a specialty for Monaco, so overturning a one-goal deficit against PSV Eindhoven in their first knock-out round tie at Stade Louis II tonight should not hold too much fear for Didier Deschamps' team.

In last season's quarter-finals, Monaco, succumbed 4-2 at Real Madrid and then recovered from 1-0 down in the home leg to win 3-1, taking the tie on away goals with the aggregate scores tied at 5-5. "Qualifying will not be exceptional," the defender François Modesto said. "After Monaco's record last year, everyone expects us to beat PSV Eindhoven."

Monaco have not lost in European competition at home since September 2000, when they were defeated 1-0 by Rangers in the Champions' League. However, their Italian goalkeeper Flavio Roma is not taking anything for granted. "We don't look at the past results," Roma said. "We have had a lot of good results at home in European competition over the last few seasons. But those statistics are for the journalists.

"Remember that PSV are very experienced," he added, "know how to soak up pressure and break out very quickly."

PSV hold their slender lead from the first leg thanks to an early goal at the Philips Stadion by the Brazilian centre-half Alex. Guus Hiddink, the PSV coach, has no injury worries after his side's match at Groningen on Sunday was postponed because of snow.

Deschamps, who rested several players for the 0-0 draw at home to Metz on Saturday, has an injury doubt over Roma, who has sat out the last three games because of a muscle strain in his right thigh. He could be replaced by Fabien Audard.

Monaco (probable, 4-3-1-2): Roma; Maicon, Rodriguez, Givet, Evra; Zikos, Bernardi, Plasil; Kallon; Saviola, Chevanton.

PSV Eindhoven (probable, 4-3-3): Gomes; Ooijer, Alex, Bouma, Young-Pyo; Van Bommel, Vogel, Cocu; Ji-Sung, Vennegoor of Hesselink, Farfan.

Referee: S Bennett (England).

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