Last year’s Champions League finalists have never lost to Dutch opponents and are playing in the knockout phase for the fourth time in their last five attempts.
Ten matches unbeaten in France, and having qualified from such a tough pool, coach Didier Deschamps is quietly optimistic.
“Confidence is important, but domestic and Champions League games are very different contexts. It will be a difficult match,” he said.
Asked to compare this with last year’s team, Deschamps replied: “Monaco have a style of playing and more or less the same team as last year, and we have learned a lot since then.”
Having belatedly reached the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds after so many attempts, PSV Eindhoven are determined to continue their run against Monaco.
PSV coach Gus Hiddink admits that both PSV and Monaco are dark horses in the last 16, saying: “Realistically our match is not one of the ‘finals’ of this round; this is not Chelsea versus Barcelona. I’m sure Monaco would be happy with a 0-0 draw, but not us.
“However, both sides defend very well, so I do not anticipate a lot of goals.”
John de Jong has recovered from a twisted ankle while centre-forward Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink is back in form, scoring seven goals in his last four starts.