MX23RW : Wednesday, May 25 03:07:32| >> :600:415781:415781:
[monks data]
Jan 30, 2022 at 8pm UK at Stade Bollaert-Delelis
2 - 4
Said (45'), Kalimuendo (53')
FT(HT: 1-3)
Ben Yedder (18', 88'), Lucas (27'), Diop (29')
Golovin (72')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Coupe de France clash between Lens and Monaco, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two sides separated by one place and zero points in Ligue 1 go head to head for a spot in the Coupe de France quarter-finals on Sunday evening.

Eighth-placed Lens welcome seventh-placed Monaco to the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, with the visitors coming up against their first top-tier opponent in this season's competition.

Match preview

Referee Stephanie Frappart talks to RC Lens' Gael Kakuta and Jonathan Clauss on January 22, 2022© Reuters

Lens have faced a top-flight opponent already, and not just any top-flight opponent but the - admittedly struggling - reigning champions Lille.

The game was one fitting of the occasion, with Lens overcoming a two-goal deficit all thanks to captain fantastic Seko Fofana - the Ivory Coast midfielder first grabbing a crucial equaliser in the 95th minute with his second goal of the night, and then scoring the decisive spot kick in the ensuing penalty shootout.

Fofana has not limited his heroics to the cup, however, also scoring a stoppage-time winner as his side came from behind to beat bottom side Saint-Etienne 2-1 in the league.

A 2-0 loss at home to Marseille last weekend ended a run of three successive victories in all competitions, but Franck Haise's side will now look to return to winning ways against a side they have already beaten once this campaign.

Monaco coach Philippe Clement on January 9, 2022© Reuters

The pair's previous meeting came in just the third game of the season as Lens set about a stellar start that would see them win five and lose just one of their opening nine games, whilst Monaco won just one of their first six.

Les Sang et Or won that encounter 2-0, the goals coming from Ignatius Ganago and Simon Banza as both sides were reduced to 10 men.

The Monegasques would show some of the form which brought about a title challenge last season at times in the following months, but with a lack of consistency that would see manager Niko Kovac lose his job.

New boss Philippe Clement watched on as the side he would officially take charge of the following day comfortably beat Ligue 2's Quevilly 3-1 in the previous round of the cup.

Since then, the Belgian has overseen a win, a draw and a loss in a mixed start to life on the riviera. He will now be hoping to mark his Coupe de France debut with a win on Sunday.

Lens Coupe de France form:
  • W
  • W

Lens form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Monaco Coupe de France form:
  • W
  • W

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

Team News

Mali players celebrate their first goal scored by Massadio Haidara on January 20, 2022© Reuters

Florian Sotoca returned to the Lens starting lineup against Marseille but drew a blank as his side lost and could now find himself back on the bench.

Massadio Haidara's Mali were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday which could see him back in time for the weekend's game.

Ganago is still competing with Cameroon, however, and Haise will also be without second-choice goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez who has linked up with the Venezuela squad for their World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

The South American qualifiers will also see Monaco go without Chile's Guillermo Maripan, and fellow defender Benoit Badiashile remains absent with a hamstring injury.

He is currently joined in the treatment room by Djibril Sidibe, Krepin Diatta, Myron Boadu and Cesc Fabregas.

Lens possible starting lineup:
Leca; Medina, Danso, Gradit; Clauss, Doucoure, Fofana, Frankowski; Kakuta, Said; Sotoca

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Nubel; Aguilar, Pavlovic, Caio Henrique; Jean Lucas, Tchouameni, Matazo; Martins, Ben Yedder, Diop

SM words green background

We say: Lens 1-1 Monaco (Monaco to win on penalties)

This tie is a tough one to call with both teams in mixed form and inseparable in the Ligue 1 standings. We can see it going all the way to penalties and are backing Monaco to come out on top in a shootout, thanks in part to Wissam Ben Yedder's expertise from the spot.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 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 2.5:data

ID:476577:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect10352:

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AS Monaco coach Niko Kovac reacts on November 25, 2021
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