MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 08:47:16| >> :120:47020:47020:
Feb 3, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade Louis II
MonacoMonaco
2-1
NiceNice
Ben Yedder (28' pen., 51')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Lees-Melou (47')
Todibo (17'), Claude Maurice (34'), Schneiderlin (40'), Lotomba (50')

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

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

Monaco will be aiming to win their sixth game on the bounce in Ligue 1 when they play host to Nice at the Stade Louis II on Wednesday evening.

Les Monegasques eked out a vital 2-1 win over Nantes on Sunday to keep pace with the title-chasing pack, whereas Nice's poor form continued with defeat to Saint-Etienne.


Match preview

Monaco manager Niko Kovac pictured in December 2020© Reuters

As the most in-form team currently plying their trade in the French top flight, Monaco have now emerged as serious contenders for the Ligue 1 title.

No other side in the division can boast a perfect record from their opening five matches of 2021, with Monaco taking 15 points from a possible 15 since the turn of the year after a wholly inconsistent first half of the season.

Against a struggling Nantes team, defender Guillermo Maripan netted his fourth goal in five matches with the opener before Kevin Volland notched up his 11th of the season in the second half, and Monaco held on for the win over the 10-man Canaris even though Renaud Emond pulled one back in the final 10 minutes.

Having also beaten Lorient, Angers, Montpellier and Marseille in January, Monaco are now just six points off the pace in the race for Ligue 1 glory, and champions Paris Saint-Germain are within touching distance after their shock defeat to Lorient.

However, PSG's superior goal difference means that they are highly unlikely to be overtaken just yet, but goals are Monaco's forte at home, as they have netted at least twice in nine of their 11 league games on familiar territory so far.

Nice's Pierre Lees-Melou celebrates with teammates after scoring against AS Monaco on November 8, 2020© Reuters

Before Nice welcomed Saint-Etienne to the Allianz Riviera at the weekend, Les Verts had only won one of their last 18 matches in the top flight, but they made it two from 19 with a surprise victory over Adrian Ursea's side.

An 88th-minute winner from Charles Abi condemned Nice to their ninth loss of the season as well as extending their winless home run to nine matches across all competitions - with eight of those ending in defeat for Les Aiglons.

Despite their abysmal record on familiar territory, Nice's away record is rather respectable, as they have only lost one of their last eight league matches on the road - keeping clean sheets in five of them - but their recent victory at Lens was down to some individual brilliance from the now-injured Youcef Atal.

However, with just a solitary win to boast from their last seven in the top flight, Nice have slipped to 13th in the table, although they should not be in any danger of being dragged into a relegation dogfight as eight points separate them from the drop zone.

Monaco scraped a 2-1 win on Nice's turf in the reverse fixture on November 8, and Les Monegasques have only suffered one defeat to their opponents on home soil since 2009.

Monaco Ligue 1 form: DWWWWW

Nice Ligue 1 form: DLDLWL


Team News

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

Monaco will welcome Ruben Aguilar back from suspension for this game, and the Frenchman could come straight back into the fold for recent arrival Krepin Diatta.

The hosts are still without the injured Cesc Fabregas and Gelson Martins, but Florentino has fully recovered from coronavirus to bolster Kovac's midfield options.

Kovac could elect to name a largely unchanged lineup amid their winning run, but Aleksandr Golovin is pushing for more minutes after numerous substitute outings.

Nice will continue to make do without Atal for another couple of weeks with his hamstring problem, and midfielder Hicham Boudaoui is suspended for this tie.

The void left by Boudaoui should be filled by Khephren Thuram, and Kovac also expects Rony Lopes and Morgan Schneiderlin to be involved this week.

Whether the duo are fit enough to make the starting lineup remains to be seen, but Lopes is unlikely to displace Kasper Dolberg or Amine Gouiri up top either way.

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

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Saliba, Daniliuc, Nsoki; Thuram; Lotomba, Lees Melou, Reine-Adelaide, Kamara; Dolberg, Gouiri


SM words green background

We say: Monaco 3-0 Nice

A meeting with Monaco in their current form would strike fear into the hearts of almost any team right now, and Nice are no exception. The visitors have performed much better on the road than on their own turf so far, but trying to get one over a blistering Monaco outfit will be a bridge too far for Ursea's men, so this should be a straightforward home win.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring for Paris Saint-Germain against Montpellier in Ligue 1 on January 22, 2021
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JapanJapan114520
United StatesUnited States1010929
ChinaChina105823
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78419
AustraliaAustralia61815
Great BritainGreat Britain56415
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


ROWING
· 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)

SWIMMING
· 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)

RUGBY SEVENS
· 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)

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

CYCLING
· 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)

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

EQUESTRIAN
· 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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