MX23RW : Saturday, June 12 23:16:32| >> :600:1332767:1332767:
May 9, 2021 at 4.05pm UK at Stade Auguste Delaune
ReimsReims
0-1
MonacoMonaco

Munetsi (31')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Matazo (20')
Badiashile (39'), Maripan (89'), Golovin (90+2')

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

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

With a title charge now seemingly out of the question, Monaco will endeavour to return to winning ways when they travel to resolute Reims for Sunday's Ligue 1 battle.

The hosts played out a thrilling 2-2 draw with Nimes last time out, while Monaco's equally pulsating encounter with Lyon ended in a 3-2 win for Les Gones.


Match preview

Reims manager David Guion pictured in October 2020© Reuters

There will be no second stab at the Europa League for Reims in the 2021-22 campaign, but given their torrid fortunes during the earliest weeks of the season, David Guion can surely take pride in their performances since the turn of the year.

Reims continue to struggle for victories, but they have proven incredibly difficult to overcome in 2021 - as evidenced by 15 draws this season, a league high - and the most recent of those stalemates saw them rescue a late point against relegation-threatened Nimes.

Les Crocodiles took the lead through Renaud Ripart and Moussa Kone following Nathanael Mbuku's powerful opener, and it took an incredibly fortuitous effort from the unknown Alexis Flips to salvage a point for Reims, as his cross-cum-shot cannoned in off the post during his first Ligue 1 appearance.

The 11th-placed Rouges et Blances have little but pride to play for as the campaign draws to a close, and they cannot rise any higher up the table with all three points against Monaco, so a top-half finish may remain just a pipe dream for Guion this time around.

Reims prepare to face Monaco having lost just one of their last 11 Ligue 1 games, although eight matches during that run have ended with the spoils shared, and not since January 24 have Reims come out on the winning side at home - drawing six and losing one at the Stade Auguste-Delaune since beating Brest back then.

Monaco manager Niko Kovac pictured in February 2021© Reuters

The man of the moment Wissam Ben Yedder so nearly rescued a point for Monaco with the cheekiest of panenka penalties in the dying embers against Lyon, but Les Gones' 17-year-old protege Rayan Cherki popped up with an 89th-minute winner to kill off Monaco's title hopes.

Ninety minutes of gripping action on the pitch was overshadowed by a mass brawl after the final whistle had blown, during which four players saw red, but it was hardly a surprise to see tensions boil over with both the title and a place in the Champions League at stake at the Stade Louis-II.

Niko Kovac's men can mathematically still win the title, but Lille and Paris Saint-Germain are five and four points clear respectively, so holding off the challenge of Lyon for the final Champions League spot will be the ultimate aim for the previously unstoppable Monegasques.

Defeat to Lyon saw Monaco's seven-game winning run - during which time they kept a clean sheet on all seven occasions - come to a dampening end, but their five-game winning run on the road is still intact, and Kovac's defence have not conceded a single goal in that run either.

While Reims are known for their affinity for draws, Monaco are the only team in Ligue 1 yet to share the spoils away from home this season - winning 11 and losing six of their 17 such games - but they were held to a 2-2 stalemate by Reims all the way back in August.

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

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

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



Team News

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

Reims left-back Ghislain Konan is back from a ban and a knee injury to reclaim his place in defence over Thibault De Smet, while Wout Faes also returns from suspension to form a familiar partnership with Yunis Abdelhamid.

Teenage midfielder Dion Lopy has forced his way into the team recently, so Marshall Munetsi may drop out entirely, but it would be a surprise to see Flips handed a start despite his fortunate equaliser against Nimes.

Guion remains without Moussa Doumbia and Valon Berisha, though, with the latter's season over after a serious knee injury.

Monaco youngsters Willem Geubbels and Pietro Pellegri saw red for their involvement in the mass brawl against Lyon, with the former being banned for three matches while Pellegri is now set to serve a two-game suspension.

Kovac's attacking line was already depleted after Gelson Martins, Aleksandr Golovin and Krepin Diatta all tested positive for coronavirus, but the latter should be in contention to return here, while Sofiane Diop and Stevan Jovetic are nursing ankle and calf issues respectively.

Should Diatta not be deemed ready to start, Ruben Aguilar should continue in a more advanced role on the right-hand side, with the prolific Kevin Volland aiming to build on his 24 goal contributions (16 goals, eight assists) from the left.

Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Foket, Faes, Abdelhamid, Konan; Lopy; Mbuku, Cassama, Chavalerin, Zeneli; Dia

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


SM words green background

We say: Reims 0-2 Monaco

After the heartbreak of seeing their title aspirations dashed against Lyon, Monaco will have a point to prove when they step out onto the Stade Auguste-Delaune turf this weekend.

Reims are destined to finish in mid-table obscurity and that may be evidenced by their performance in this game, as we expect Kovac's side to strengthen their grip on third spot with a comfortable win.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Reims vs Monaco

Reims
9.7%
Draw
6.5%
Monaco
83.9%
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Monaco manager Niko Kovac pictured in February 2021
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Sunday's Ligue 1 predictions including Monaco vs. Lyon
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2 38264886285882
3 38246876423478
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6 3816101252401258
7 381512115554157
8 381412126062-254
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14 38915144250-842
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