MX23RW : Friday, April 23 11:55:54| >> :60:675:675:
Feb 28, 2021 at 12pm UK at Stade Louis II
Jovetic (76'), Volland (90')
Maripan (28'), Diatta (85')
FT(HT: 0-0)

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

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

Fresh from a memorable triumph at reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco will aim to maintain their Ligue 1 title charge when they play host to an inconsistent Brest on Sunday lunchtime.

While the hosts returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion last time out, 12th-placed Brest fell to a thrilling 3-2 defeat to Lyon.

Match preview

Monaco manager Niko Kovac pictured in February 2021© Reuters

PSG's perennial reign of dominance in the French football scene is not over just yet, but Monaco certainly proved that the champions are not the force that they once were a couple of years ago.

The Ligue 1 title race was already wide open before Les Monegasques made the journey to the Parc des Princes, and Niko Kovac's men furthered their own title ambitions with a deserved 2-0 triumph on the capital side's turf, as Sofiane Diop and Guillermo Maripan got the goals.

Maripan has managed to force his way into Kovac's defence on a consistent basis, and even when Wissam Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland are not firing on all cylinders - a rare occurrence - the Chilean centre-back's five goals have often proved invaluable for a title-chasing Monaco this term.

Monaco had dropped two points in the race for glory against Lorient the week before, but they are now within touching distance of their most recent victims PSG, although league leaders Lille remain six points clear at the summit after they had no problems overcoming Lorient.

While Monaco have no trouble finding the back of the net at the correct end of the pitch, the 37 goals they have already shipped - the leakiest defence in the top eight - could harm their aspirations of silverware, although keeping a clean sheet at PSG was the perfect tonic before they do battle with a free-scoring Brest.

Brest manager Olivier Dall'Oglio pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Out of the 16 teams below the title-chasing quartet, only Montpellier HSC (43) have scored more than Brest (39), but Olivier Dall'Oglio's men were truly the masters of their own downfall against second-placed Lyon last Friday.

Sebastien Cibois has enjoyed a consistent run in between the sticks after demoting Gautier Larsonneur to the bench, but the goalkeeper's howler allowed Lucas Paqueta to steal the ball and tap into an empty net, while Memphis Depay and Houssem Aouar also netted for Les Gones as Brendan Chardonnet and Irvin Cardona's goals for Brest counted for nought.

Cibois also gave away the spot kick for Lyon's third on the night - a performance which would have done the 22-year-old's confidence no good whatsoever - and that defeat abruptly ended a four-game unbeaten run across all competitions for Les Pirates, who held Lille to a 0-0 draw a few days before losing to Lyon.

Only Nimes (51) and Lorient (50) have let in more goals than Brest (47) in the current campaign, and with the top half of the table currently seven points out of reach, Dall'Oglio must work on shoring up his side's defence if they are to achieve a respectable finish.

Brest travel to the Stade Louis II on a seven-game winless run away from home - losing four and drawing three since their win at Metz in November - although they did beat Monaco 1-0 in the reverse fixture back in October, with Romain Faivre scoring the winner on that day.

Monaco Ligue 1 form: WWWWDW
Monaco form (all competitions): WWWWDW

Brest Ligue 1 form: LLDWDL
Brest form (all competitions): LDWWDL

Team News

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

Monaco are still without two injured wingers in Willem Geubbels and Gelson Martins, but both players would struggle to break into the first XI at this moment in time.

It would be harsh to drop any player who started in the famous win at PSG, but with Kovac likely to revert to his traditional 4-4-2 after deploying a 3-4-2-1 against the champions, Axel Disasi may be the unlucky one to drop out.

A change in formation would allow Aleksandr Golovin and Krepin Diatta to battle it out for a spot out wide, while Djibril Sidibe will also hope to return at right-back.

Lyon loanee Jean Lucas did not turn out for Brest against his parent club, but he is back in the fold for this game and should return to the starting lineup.

The midfielder's return could see Dall'Oglio revert to a 4-3-3 this weekend, meaning that Steve Mounie may drop out of the attack for the trip to Monaco.

Denys Bain remains the only injury concern for Brest, who otherwise have a fully-fit squad for this daunting showdown, and Cibois's spot in goal should be safe despite his error-strewn performance against Lyon.

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

Brest possible starting lineup:
Cibois; Pierre-Gabriel, Herelle, Chardonnet, Perraud; Belkebla, Lasne, Lucas; Honorat, Cardona, Faivre

SM words green background

We say: Monaco 3-1 Brest

Neither of these two sides' defences have proven themselves to be impenetrable this season, although a clean sheet at PSG is certainly something to be celebrated for Monaco. The return of Lucas will help beef up the visitors' midfield, but Monaco appear to be virtually unstoppable right now and should keep the pressure on the top three with another crucial victory this weekend.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data

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