Arsene Wenger excited about returning to Monaco with Arsenal in UCL

Arsene Wenger is eagerly anticipating his return to Monaco for Arsenal's Champions League last-16 tie and feels it is "a strange coincidence in life" that the Gunners have been drawn against his old team.

Wenger spent seven years at the Principality club from 1987 to 1994 early on in his managerial career, winning a French title and the Coupe de France before leaving for Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan.

Having since spent 18 years at Arsenal, the Frenchman has never been back to the Stade Louis II to face his former side, but he is relishing the prospect of a Champions League reunion.

"We had very few chances to get Monaco and I think it's a strange coincidence in life because I've spent 25 years of my life at Monaco and Arsenal together, so it's a little bit like my life meets my life," Wenger told Arsenal's official website.

"It's good as well because I go back to basically where I started. I've never [been back], because I was always very busy and since I've been here in England we've played every three days basically throughout the whole season. I've been back to the city a few times but never to the stadium."

Wenger feels the tie offers Arsenal a good chance of advancing to the next round of the competition, although he is wary of a side who finished top of their group and conceded just one goal in six games.

"Overall it's an opportunity for us to get through to the quarterfinal," Wenger added.

"Having said that, Monaco is a tough draw because they've come top out of a very tough group and that means it's a signal for us to be ready to meet a tough team who defend very well and are very quick on counter-attacks. We need a good defensive performance against them."