MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 21:38:23| >> :600:1217948:1217948:
Apr 11, 2021 at 4.05pm UK at Stade Louis II
MonacoMonaco
3-0
DijonDijon
Jovetic (49'), Ben Yedder (63', 89' pen.)
Maripan (67')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Monaco vs. Dijon - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Monaco and Dijon, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Having broken into the top three of the Ligue 1 table, Monaco will look to make a statement of intent when they welcome basement side Dijon to the Stade Louis II on Sunday afternoon.

While the visitors are mathematically still capable of pulling off a great escape, it would take a footballing miracle for David Linares to somehow salvage his side's top-flight status now.


Match preview

Monaco manager Niko Kovac pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Monaco breached Metz's defence at will in their most recent Ligue 1 encounter - thrashing Les Grenats 4-0 on April 3 - but their normally potent attackers were nullified by Metz in their midweek Coupe de France battle, as the game would be decided from the spot after a goalless stalemate in 90 minutes.

It was not a performance that Monaco would want to write home about, but Niko Kovac's side converted all of their spot kicks while Habib Maiga fluffed his lines, and Les Monegasques booked their spot in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 5-4 shootout victory during a gruelling evening.

As a result, the league and cup double is still a realistic possibility for Monaco, and they managed to leapfrog Lyon into third with last week's thrashing of Metz in the league, but four points separate them from leaders Lille before they do battle with Les Grenats on Friday.

Kovac's men have been almost unplayable since the turn of the year - with the shock 1-0 defeat to Strasbourg representing the only blot on the Croatian's notebook - and Monaco have now kept five successive clean sheets in all competitions - a testament to the tireless work of Axel Disasi, Benoit Badiashile and goalscoring centre-back Guillermo Maripan.

Les Monegasques are also unbeaten in their last eight games at the Stade Louis II in Ligue 1, and they also boast the highest points and goals tally of any team in the top flight on home soil, so Dijon will simply hope to keep the scoreline as low as possible in a match that is surely a foregone conclusion from the first whistle.

Dijon's Ngonda Muzinga is shown a yellow card by referee Jeremie Pignard in January 2021© Reuters

Ligue 2 beckons for Dijon following a joyless season in the big time, but upbeat manager Linares has refused to give up just yet while his side are mathematically capable of escaping the clutches of relegation, even after overseeing a dismal 2-0 defeat to Marseille last time out.

Les Hiboux' 11-game losing run is the worst out of any team in the top five leagues, and they could equal an unwanted 87-year-old record with a 12th successive defeat - matching the wretched streak suffered by CA Paris in the 1933-34 campaign - and not many will be placing bets on them managing to avoid that fate.

Linares's men have only gleaned 15 points all season and are 17 points adrift of safety with only seven games left to play, so if Dijon lose this weekend and 17th-placed Lorient prevail at Lens, the best that Les Hiboux could hope for would be an 18th-placed finish and a spot in the relegation playoff.

Such a scenario is extremely unlikely to occur, though, especially with Dijon facing in-form Nice and Rennes sides in the next two weeks, and they travel to the Stade Louis II having lost their last six away Ligue 1 matches - a tally that only Crotone (9) can beat in Europe's top five leagues.

A 15th-minute Kevin Volland winner for Monaco was all that could separate the two sides earlier in the season, and Dijon have only managed to prevail against Les Monegasques once in their last nine attempts, although that was as recently as January 2019.

Monaco Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Monaco form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Dijon Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L



Team News

AS Monaco's Guillermo Maripan celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 23, 2021© Reuters

Monaco attacker Gelson Martins has finally returned to the squad after a lengthy injury layoff, but the highly-rated Sofiane Diop remains sidelined with a hand injury, while Ruben Aguilar is COVID-positive.

Changes will most definitely be afoot, though, as 19-year-old Eliot Matazo's short run in the team is likely to come to an end as Aurelien Tchouameni returns to partner Youssouf Fofana in the middle.

Martins may not be ready to start two games in quick succession, so Aleksandr Golovin should return out wide to support the prolific duo of Wissam Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland, who boast a combined total of 19 goals and nine assists at the Stade Louis II this season.

Dijon are in relatively good shape for this battle, and the visitors will welcome Aboubakar Kamara and Didier Ndong back from suspension, with the latter possibly in line for a start over Jordan Marie in the engine room.

Eric Ebimbe would also be cleared to play this weekend after serving a ban of his own, and the winger is nearing a return from a thigh problem, while Roger Assale could also come into contention for a start after shaking off a muscular issue.

However, wantaway winger Mounir Chouiar is still struggling with an ankle problem, and Linares has also affirmed that Saturnin Allagbe will be his first-choice goalkeeper for the remainder of the campaign.

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Lecomte; Sidibe, Disasi, Maripan, Henrique; Diatta, Fofana, Tchouameni, Golovin; Ben Yedder, Volland

Dijon possible starting lineup:
Allagbe; Boey, Manga, Panzo, Coulibaly, Muzinga; Lautoa, Ndong, Celina; Konate, Balde


SM words green background

We say: Monaco 3-0 Dijon

Monaco may not be at their free-flowing best after a taxing week, but the title-chasing Monegasques are still expected to sweep aside a Dijon team whose fate should be sealed within the next couple of weeks. Linares has affirmed that Les Hiboux will fight until the very end, but their efforts will likely prove futile against Ben Yedder and co at the Stade Louis II.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data


ID:442385:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect12623:

How you voted: Monaco vs Dijon

Monaco
96.8%
Draw
3.2%
Dijon
0.0%
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3 38246876423478
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5 381612105447760
6 3816101252401258
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8 381412126062-254
9 38157165053-352
10 381211154448-447
11 381210164254-1246
12 38136194256-1445
13 38128184058-1844
14 38915144250-842
15 38119184958-942
16 38119185068-1842
17 38118195066-1641
18 38913164755-840
19 3898214071-3135
20 3849252573-4821

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