Sports Mole provides an overview of Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash between Monaco and Strasbourg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Monaco and Strasbourg meet at the Stade Louis II in Ligue 1 action on Sunday afternoon in what is a six-point in the fight to enter European places.
The hosts sit in eighth place in the table, one place behind their next opponents, but the two teams are only separated by goal difference.
The lack of goals is proving the biggest problem for Monaco, with their tally of 19 so far this season the lowest in the first half.
This has been clear to do recently with Nico KovacThe team lost in three consecutive games against Brest, PSV Eindhoven and Reims, so the manager will have been delighted to see two goals in each of his last two games.
In a game against Lille – another team arguably suffering from their success last year – they came back two less goals and even found the equalizer thanks to Wissam Ben Yedder after being reduced to 10 men when Strahinja Pavlovic was sacked in the 78th minute.
They did better in the Europa League on Thursday, where their two goals – from Kevin Volland and Youssouf Fofana – earned them all three points, although they finished the match again with a man after Fofana saw red just before the final whistle.
The Monegasques need no lessons to produce the merchandise at home, having taken 10 points from their last four games at home, and will be confident to close the gap to the top five this weekend.
Strasbourg do not share their hosts’ challenges when it comes to putting the ball in the net, having scored the most of any team in the league except for the fugitive leader Paris Saint -Germain.
A somewhat elusive defense kept his goal difference under control at +6, but this season’s campaign has been the best in many years nonetheless.
The Racers lost nine of their first 12 games in 2020-21, ultimately escaping relegation to 15th, just two points off playoff spot.
Julien StephanThe Reims side reportedly hoped for a win in their home game against Reims last weekend, but were ultimately relieved to snatch a point thanks to a Jean Ricner-Bellegarde equalization in the 96th minute.
Sunday’s game marks the start of a series of tough games against Monaco, Nice and Marseille and Stephan is likely hoping his side can just take a few points from them and hold onto their place in the first half.
Monaco Ligue 1 form:
Monegasque form (all competitions):
Strasbourg Ligue 1 form:
that of Monaco Benoit Badiashile and Alexander Golovin are back from suspension, but the first is uncertain after being released as a precaution on Thursday, as is Aurélien Tchouameni who completely missed the game.
Krepin Diatta appears to be an absence of the wing after being injured in the previous game against Lille, but Eliot Matazo should be fit to start in central midfield.
Kovac will likely return to the 4-4-2 he used against Lille, having moved to 4-2-3-1 in the Europa League, with Volland and Myron Boadu leading the line.
As for Strasbourg, Ludovic Ajorque and Antoine Caci both come back from suspension and should go straight into the starting XI.
With Maxime Le Marchand and Lebo Mothiba both still struggling for form, Stephan could well choose to leave his starting XI intact since last weekend.
Possible starting eleven in Monaco:
Nubel; Aguilar, Disasi, Maripan, Henrique; Martins, Fofana, Matazo, Diop; Boadu, Volland
Starting eleven possible in Strasbourg:
Salts; Perrin, Nyamsi, Djiku; Guilbert, Sissoko, Aholou, Liénard; Thomasson; Diallo, Gameiro
We say: Monaco 2-1 Strasbourg
While Strasbourg will be better rested than Monaco, who played just 72 hours earlier, the hosts have the momentum for a win in this game to draw on.
They also have more class in their squad and we support them to snatch the three points here with a narrow victory.