UEFA Champions League: Zenit v Monaco

Leonardo Jardim promised Monaco will adhere to their footballing philosophy when they face Zenit in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

The Portuguese took over at the club following the departure of Claudio Ranieri at the end of 2013-14, but last season's Ligue 1 runners-up have struggled under his leadership.

Monaco have lost four of their opening eight league matches in the French top flight, including a 1-0 reverse at home to Nice on Saturday.

Jardim, who substituted influential midfielder Jeremy Toulalan with 20 minutes remaining of that encounter, defended that decision with Wednesday's trip to Russia in mind.

"Toulalan has played a series of intense matches," he said. "We will need him against Zenit.

"Our objective is to win. We didn't expect to suffer so many defeats in so few games. But there is only one road - hard work and making the group progress.

"Our way of playing football is ambitious. Monaco are an ambitious team. We stuck to our ideas.

"We like playing football; we don't boot the ball into touch, or throw ourselves to the ground. I respect the game of football."

Monaco began their Champions League Group C campaign in positive fashion, as Joao Moutinho's goal sealed a 1-0 home win over Bayer Leverkusen, while Zenit returned from Portugal with an impressive 2-0 win at Benfica under their belt.

Andre Villas-Boas' side sit top of the Russian Premier League table, with Saturday's 0-0 draw at home to Spartak Moscow representing their first dropped points of the campaign, in their ninth match.

The club's record goalscorer Aleksandr Kerzhakov was left out of the matchday squad against Spartak, but Villas-Boas insists there is no rift between the pair.

"We don't have any conflict, no," he said. "We had a talk before the match and I explained to him my reasons for not putting him in the lineup, but I don't want to make that public.

"Right now we are waiting to see what happens. Kerzhakov is a very strong player, a part of Zenit and we expect that he will be training with us in the future, proving his right to be on the field."

Villas-Boas stated that experienced midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk should be available for the game, while Monaco look set to be without Lacina Traore, Borja Lopez (both knee) and Aymen Abdennour (thigh).