MX23RW : Monday, August 2 00:53:05| >> :120:27390:27390:
Dec 23, 2020 at 8pm UK at Stade Louis II
St EtienneSaint-Etienne
Diop (7'), Volland (48')
Maripan (28'), Aguilar (40'), Volland (71')
Matazo (35')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Debuchy (21'), Bouanga (29' pen.)
Gourna-Douath (44'), Camara (81')

Preview: Monaco vs. Saint-Etienne - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Monaco will be hoping to build on their weekend victory over basement side Dijon when they welcome a rejuvenated Saint-Etienne to the Stade Louis-II for Wednesday's Ligue 1 clash.

The hosts ended a three-game losing run with their 1-0 win at Dijon, while Saint-Etienne extended their unbeaten streak to five matches with a draw against Nimes.

Match preview

Monaco manager Niko Kovac pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Monaco boss Niko Kovac had overseen a worrying slump before Les Monegasques made the journey to Dijon, with Lille, Marseille and Lens all getting the better of this week's hosts since the start of December.

Kovac desperately needed his side to put things right against the division's basement side, and while Monaco did manage to come out on top, Kevin Volland's 15th-minute strike was all that separated the two sides at the Stade Gaston-Gerard.

Nevertheless, Les Monegasques were able to pick up a vital three points and get their European charge back on track, with Monaco managing to climb up to seventh after Lens lost at Metz, although Sang et Or do have a game in hand.

Kovac's side now find themselves two points adrift of fourth-placed Marseille, but Monaco have played two more matches than Les Olympiens, who are one of three sides that Monaco could leapfrog should results go the way of Kovac and co this week.

Despite suffering a dismal defeat to Lens in their most recent home game, Monaco have won five and drawn two of their other top-flight matches at the Stade Louis-II this term, although Les Monegasques would be making a fatal error if they were to underestimate Saint-Etienne.

Saint-Etienne head coach Claude Puel pictured in October 2020© Reuters

While Saint-Etienne are yet to start winning on a consistent basis, Claude Puel will no doubt be pleased that his side are not succumbing to defeat every week anymore.

Les Verts would have been confident of chalking up a second successive win against a woeful Nimes outfit, but the two teams shared the spoils in a four-goal thriller at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, with Harold Moukoudi and Arnaud Nordin netting either side of goals from Matteo Ahlinvi and Renaud Ripart.

While that result means that Saint-Etienne can still only boast a solitary win from their last 13 in Ligue 1, Puel's side are still unbeaten in the month of December and have managed to open up a five-point gap between themselves and the bottom three.

In fact, Saint-Etienne are one of only three teams in the top flight to have not lost any of their last five matches - a record also shared by top-two sides Lille and Lyon - and Puel's men came out on top in their last away game with a 2-1 win at Bordeaux last Wednesday.

Furthermore, Saint-Etienne have managed to prevail against Monaco in their last four meetings with Les Monegasques, including a 1-0 win at the Stade Louis-II in last season's Coupe de France.

Monaco Ligue 1 form: WWLLLW

Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form: LDDDWD

Team News

Monaco's Axel Disasi pictured in August 2020© Reuters

Monaco defender Axel Disasi returns to the fold for this one after his suspension against Dijon, but Kovac should stick with the same back four that kept Les Hiboux at bay on Sunday.

While Disasi is back from a ban, Youssouf Fofana will be forced to miss this one out due to an accumulation of bookings, which should see Florentino Luis start in his place with Cesc Fabregas out injured.

Goalkeeper Vito Mannone will start Monaco's final game of 2020 as Benjamin Lecomte recovers from a broken hand, while Aleksandr Golovin is yet to come back from a hamstring problem.

With regards to Saint-Etienne, Puel has a suspension of his own to contend with as Moukoudi - who opened the scoring against Nimes - will play no part on Wednesday.

Eighteen-year-old Saidou Sow could therefore partner Timothee Kolodziejczak in defence, with Bayer Leverkusen loanee Panagiotis Retsos being linked with a January return to Germany as he struggles with injury.

Wahbi Khazri lasted 17 minutes against Nimes before being forced off with a groin injury, so Denis Bouanga should return to the starting lineup for Les Verts' final game of 2020.

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

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Moulin; Debuchy, Sow, Kolodziejczak, Trauco; Neyou, Camara; Nordin, Aouchiche, Bouanga; Hamouma

SM words green background

We say: Monaco 1-1 Saint-Etienne

Saint-Etienne's unbeaten run has given the Verts faithful cause for optimism heading into 2021, but the visitors would do extremely well to claim all three points at Monaco. That being said, Puel's side boast a strong recent record against Les Monegasques, who did not look at all convincing in their narrow win at Dijon, so we can see both teams walking away with a point before the Christmas break.

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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Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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