MX23RW : Tuesday, July 27 23:41:08| >> :120:14252:14252:
Jan 9, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade Louis II
Maripan (40'), Volland (72'), Jovetic (81')
Badiashile (18'), Volland (29')
FT(HT: 1-0)

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

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

Two European-chasing sides neck-and-neck in the Ligue 1 table will lock horns at the Stade Louis II on Saturday evening as Monaco play host to Angers.

Both teams picked up crucial victories on Wednesday, with the hosts thrashing Lorient 5-2 while Angers claimed a shock win at the home of title hopefuls Lille.

Match preview

Monaco manager Niko Kovac pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Lorient were on course to take a point from their clash with Monaco after a hotly-contested first half, and the two sides could not be separated heading into the break following goals from Axel Disasi and Terem Moffi.

However, Jonathan Delaplace's sending off within three minutes of the restart allowed the floodgates to open, and Monaco took advantage with a flurry of second-half goals to kick off 2021 in perfect fashion.

It has been a long road back for Aleksandr Golovin after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, but the Russian playmaker came off the bench to give Monaco the lead within 10 seconds of being introduced - the fastest goal by a substitute in Ligue 1 since October 2007.

Kevin Volland, Sofiane Diop and Guillermo Maripan rounded off the scoring as Niko Kovac's men ultimately recorded a comfortable victory over the strugglers, and only one point separates Monaco from fifth-placed Marseille, although Les Olympiens do have two games in hand.

Monaco's potent attack already boasts 33 goals for the season - a tally which is only bettered by Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain - but Angers are not to be taken lightly and will be determined to stretch Monaco's winless run on home soil to three matches this weekend.

Angers manager Stephane Moulin pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Stephane Moulin has propelled Angers into European contention over the past few weeks, and Saturday's visitors displayed their top-six credentials with a memorable 2-1 win at Lille in their first fixture of 2021.

A first-half brace from an unlikely source in Romain Thomas was enough for Les Scoistes at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, although Lille did threaten a comeback as Burak Yilmaz netted on the stroke of half time, but Angers held on for another impressive victory.

Moulin's men had beaten Marseille by the same scoreline in their farewell to 2020, and with a respectable record of four wins from their last seven in Ligue 1, Angers are firmly in the conversation for a spot in the Europa League.

Les Scoistes and their opponents Monaco boast an identical record of nine wins, three draws and six losses from their opening 18 matches, but Angers are notoriously strong on the road - only Lyon boast a better record on unfamiliar territory this season - and Moulin's men will be aiming to stretch their unbeaten away record to seven matches this weekend.

A Stevan Jovetic header was enough for Monaco to prevail in this fixture last season, and Angers have only picked up a solitary win from their last eight matches with Les Monegasques.

Monaco Ligue 1 form: LLLWDW

Angers Ligue 1 form: WDLDWW

Team News

Monaco's Axel Disasi celebrates with teammates after scoring against Nice on November 8, 2020© Reuters

Monaco will welcome Eliot Matazo back from suspension for this tie, but it is difficult to see the 18-year-old forcing his way into the starting lineup here.

Benjamin Lecomte did not make the cut against Lorient but could very well make his comeback here, while Cesc Fabregas is still sidelined with a groin problem.

Kovac may not want to risk Golovin from the first whistle just yet despite his immediate impact in midweek, but Diop and Maripan also came off the bench to score on Wednesday and could be rewarded with starting roles here.

Angers left-back Souleyman Doumbia is back from suspension for this one, but Vincent Manceau should retain his spot in defence once more.

Indeed, it would be a surprise to see any member of the visitors' starting XI drop out after their win at Lille, although Stephane Bahoken could be in line for a recall up top.

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Lecomte; Aguilar, Maripan, Badiashile, Henrique; Martins, Fofana, Tchouameni, Diop; Ben Yedder, Volland

Angers possible starting lineup:
Bernardoni; Bamba, Thomas, Traore, Manceau; Mangani, Coulibaly; Capelle, Fulgini, Lage; Bahoken

SM words green background

We say: Monaco 2-2 Angers

Angers showed no signs of trepidation against Marseille or Lille, and a third successive fixture against a fellow European hopeful is sure to be a true test of their mettle. Monaco cannot afford to underestimate the high-flying visitors, and the scoreline in their clash with Lorient could have been wholly different had Les Merlus not gone down to 10, so we can see Angers extending their unbeaten away streak with a closely-fought draw this weekend.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States98825
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Great BritainGreat Britain45413
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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