Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim insists his side will be up for the challenge tonight.Reuters

Monaco start their much-awaited Champions League campaign on Tuesday night by hosting Group C opponents Bayer Leverkusen at the Stade Louis II.

The French outfit, which finished runners-up in 2003-04, returns to European action for the first time since 2006, thanks to their second-placed finish in the Ligue 1 last season. However, Leonardo Jardim's men have started the new domestic season in disappointing fashion, managing just one win from their opening five matches.

The weekend's 2-1 defeat to Lyon has left Monaco at 19th place in the league table as they continue to struggle in the absence of Colombian duo Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez. However, the Portuguese tactician insists the Champions League is a different ball game, and his young side will be up for it, in a group which also involves Benfica and Zenit St Petersburg.

"The Champions League is a different competition. We want different results. The experienced players will help the younger ones. We need to find a bridge between the current situation and the future that is in front of us – which is very promising," Jardim stressed.

"Leverkusen are strong and very quick on the break. We will have to be careful from set pieces. We will have to raise our game and be efficient up front."

Bayer Leverkusen
Leverkusen has had a flying start to the domestic season.Reuters

Leverkusen, on the other hand, are experiencing contrasting fortunes in their domestic season. Roger Schmidt's side have had a fantastic start to the Bundesliga season, and is currently at the top of the table, with two wins and a draw from first three matches.

The German side had reached the Round of 16 of the Champions League last season, from a group which had Manchester United and Shakhtar Donetsk, but were knocked out by French giants Paris Saint-Germain. And Schmidt is confident of a repeat run or even a better finish this time.

"We are confident and the players know it. We have had big tests already in the league and in the play-offs, so we have been able to apply our new style. We have succeeded, so this is not our first big test," the German pointed out.

"We have analysed Monaco's game and they are a good team. They have not played in Europe for a while but they are not outsiders. It is only early in the season, the standings do not mean anything. Monaco have a lot of quality and the Champions League is a different competition."

Probable Lineups

Monaco: Subasic; Fabinho, Raggi, Carvalho, Kurzawa; Toulalan, Kondogbia, Moutinho; Ferreira-Carrasco, Berbatov, Ocampos

Leverkusen: Leno; Jedvaj, Toprak, Spahic, Boenisch; Castro, Bender; Bellarabi, Calhanoglu, Son; Kiessling

Where to Watch Live

The match is set for an 12.15 am IST (8.45 pm local time) start, and can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Catch the action in the UK on Sky Sports Red Button, with the option to live stream the match online HERE.

Viewers in the US can watch the game on ESPN3 Online-App and Watch ESPN, with an option to live stream HERE. Audience in the Middle East and North Africa can catch the action via live streaming HERE.