Sunday’s match will be the first clash between Clermont Foot and ASM in history. Except that ASM does not mean Association Sportive Montferrandaise, but Association Sportive de Monaco. And that the gap between the two clubs, one promoted and novice in the elite, and the other very experienced, calibrated for the top of the table, and semi-finalist of the Champions League (2017). In short, another big piece of Ligue 1, after that of Wednesday, for a Clermont Foot weaned from victories for 5 games.
Clermontois “upset” after Rennes
Playing such an opponent four days after taking the biggest beating in history, it might not be a gift. But Pascal Gastien wanted to be reassuring. On the one hand, he has confidence in his players, “annoyed” after the Breton disappointment; and on the other hand, he believes that in the perspective of maintenance, his team has “no pressure”, and that it therefore has everything to gain, by trying to take points. He is also counting on the support of the public to make a difference.
Same story on the side of the smiling midfielder Salis Abdul Samed, who assured that the Rennes evening was now digested, on the one hand because it was necessary, on the other hand in view of the caliber of the opponent of Sunday, and finally because it is the third match in a week for Clermont Foot.
Monaco, “one of the best French teams”
Packed with internationals (Volland, Ben Yedder, Tchouamenie, Sidibé …), Monaco’s five-star workforce is calibrated to crush everything in its path. All the more so on Thursday, the Monegasques will play in the Europa League, and the Clermontois must serve as a dress rehearsal. It will therefore be necessary to hold on, and tighten the bolts behind.
Pascal Gastien has made no secret: he is under the spell of Niko Kovac’s team, one of the best French and European teams, according to him. “This is the team that plays the best football in our league, collectively. We have an interest in being ready and compact, otherwise it will be very hard” according to him.
A “complicated” season, the good news Johan Gastien
Whatever happens, Pascal Gastien does not want his team to respond and lose its football because it comes out of two big beatings (4-0 against PSG and 6-0 against Rennes). The Auvergne tactician knew that the season would be complicated, and that learning would be done the hard way. But above all, he knows what his team is capable of.
And to face Monaco, he will be able to count on the return of his son Johan. The important midfielder was suspended for one game after his red card last weekend against Brest. A suspension already served against Rennes on Wednesday evening.