MX23RW : Tuesday, August 3 11:53:51| >> :600:6279406:6279406:
Apr 18, 2021 at 4.05pm UK at Stade Chaban Delmas
FT(HT: 0-1)
Volland (29'), Martins (47'), Jovetic (90')
Fofana (15'), Lacoux (72'), Zerkane (75'), Michael Seri (84')
Lacoux (78')

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

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

Still dreaming of a historic Ligue 1 title triumph, Monaco will aim to keep the pressure on the top two when they do battle with Bordeaux at the Matmut Atlantique on Sunday afternoon.

Les Girondins were thrashed 4-1 by Saint-Etienne last time out, whereas Monaco boosted their title bid with a resounding 3-0 success against basement side Dijon.

Match preview

Bordeaux manager Jean-Louis Gasset pictured in November 2020© Reuters

For a side that was tipped to challenge for the European places in the earliest stages of the season, Bordeaux are slowly but surely being dragged into a fight for survival during a miserable spell of results, with the pressure piling heavier on Jean-Louis Gasset's shoulders by the week.

Les Girondins became the latest victims of the rejuvenated Wahbi Khazri last time out, as the Tunisia international struck a sumptuous hat-trick after Hwang Ui-jo had drawn first blood from the penalty spot, and Zaydou Youssouf came off the bench to wrap up the three points for Saint-Etienne in style during a 4-1 triumph.

Bordeaux's third straight defeat in Ligue 1 saw them slip to 15th in the table with six games left to play, and Gasset's side now find themselves just six points clear of the bottom three, although they will be thankful that none of the sides around them has been particularly successful in recent weeks either.

Out of their last 11 games in the top flight, Bordeaux have succumbed to defeat in nine of them, and their solitary victory in that run came in a 3-1 success against perennial losers Dijon, although Gasset has remained upbeat as he attempts to steer his side away from the dreaded trapdoor.

Bordeaux became renowned for their defensive resolve earlier in the campaign, but they have conceded at least three goals in their last three games and have kept just one clean sheet in their last 12, so Monaco will travel to the Matmut Atlantique intent on condemning their opponents to a fourth home defeat on the bounce.

Monaco manager Niko Kovac pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Wissam Ben Yedder is starting to establish a reputation as a super sub, but the 30-year-old once again staked his claim for his rightful spot in the first XI with a brace in Sunday's 3-0 success over whipping boys Dijon.

Ben Yedder missed a penalty mere moments after being introduced for the second 45, but Stevan Jovetic was on hand to tap home from the rebound before his French teammate netted twice - including an 89th-minute spot kick - as Monaco strengthened their position in the top three of the Ligue 1 table.

The principality outfit have now taken nine points from the last nine on offer in the top flight and are only five points adrift of leaders Lille - and one behind second-placed Paris Saint-Germain - as the Ligue 1 title race prepares to go right down to the wire following an enthralling four-way battle for supremacy.

There is the small matter of a Coupe de France quarter-final with Lyon to worry about next week, but Kovac's side have remarkably kept six clean sheets in a row across all competitions - as well as six from their last seven in the league - and Les Monegasques also travel to the Matmut Atlantique having won seven of their last eight away from home in the top flight.

Kovac's side eased to a 4-0 victory over Bordeaux in November's meeting at the Stade Louis II, and the hosts have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 10 against Monaco - not a reassuring statistic before 17-goal Ben Yedder and 14-goal Kevin Volland pay a visit on Sunday.

Bordeaux Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

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

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

Team News

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

Bordeaux manager Gasset has issued positive updates on the fitness of Samuel Kalu and Otavio - both of whom are back out on the training pitches and should be available before the end of the month, but this match will come too soon for the duo.

The hosts have no fresh concerns otherwise, with Hatem Ben Arfa hopeful of earning a recall to the starting lineup as Bordeaux look to find creative inspiration from somewhere.

Hwang's penalty against Saint-Etienne took him up to 11 goals for the Ligue 1 season, as well as five in his last four, but Bordeaux have lost six of their nine matches when the 28-year-old has found the back of the net this season.

Monaco manager Kovac surely cannot resist welcoming Ben Yedder back to the first XI for the trip to Bordeaux, and his partner in crime Volland should feature despite missing the win over Dijon due to bronchitis.

Willem Geubbels is now back for Kovac, who brought Cesc Fabregas on at half time against Dijon before being forced to haul him off in the 85th minute with a suspected thigh problem, so the Spaniard is a major doubt for this one.

Sofiane Diop and Ruben Aguilar lost their places in the team after a goalless first 45 against Dijon, so both players' spots are at risk here, especially with Volland and Ben Yedder expecting to return.

Monaco have also announced that four players have tested positive for coronavirus, but none of Kovac's first team regulars appears to be affected by the outbreak.

Bordeaux possible starting lineup:
Costil; Sabaly, Baysse, Koscielny, Benito; Adli, Seri, Basic; Oudin, Hwang, De Preville

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

SM words green background

We say: Bordeaux 1-2 Monaco

Monaco's admirable defensive resilience will be put to the test by Hwang as he aims to score for the fifth game in a row, and Bordeaux simply have to pull themselves out of their rut sooner rather than later. The hosts are capable of making it a tricky afternoon for Kovac's men, but we cannot envisage Les Monegasques slipping up and can only back another win on the road for the title hopefuls.

Top tip

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22271867
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee12211851
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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