MX23RW : Wednesday, April 14 03:51:33| >> :600:385200:385200:
Mar 3, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade de la Meinau
StrasbourgStrasbourg
1-0
MonacoMonaco
Guilbert (90+1')
Lienard (19'), Ajorque (27'), Thomasson (53')
FT(HT: 0-0)

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

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

With the top three now within touching distance, Monaco will endeavour to keep the pressure on their Ligue 1 title rivals when they visit Strasbourg at the Stade de la Meinau on Wednesday evening.

Les Monegasques overcame Brest 2-0 last time out to keep their strong run of form going, while Strasbourg impressively held Lille to a 1-1 draw.


Match preview

Strasbourg manager Thierry Laurey pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Strasbourg manager Thierry Laurey was forced to withdraw from the touchline with stomach pains on Sunday, but it could not have been his side's performance that made him sick as Les Coureurs managed to hold league leaders Lille to a 1-1 draw at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Laurey witnessed Ludovic Ajorque crash in the opener in the 36th minute just before leaving the dugout to lie down in the medical room, and the Strasbourg boss was not there to witness Jose Fonte equalise for Lille in the 86th minute, but the news on Laurey is reassuring and he should be back to bark orders on Wednesday.

Strasbourg were written off by most before they travelled to Lille, but Les Coureurs fought valiantly against Christophe Galtier's title-chasers and fully merited their point - one which keeps them in 15th place - five clear of the bottom three and six above the automatic relegation places.

Les Coureurs can only boast one win from their last eight in all competitions, but a point against Lille extended their unbeaten run to three matches following a victory at Metz and a draw with Angers, so Laurey's side should secure their Ligue 1 status for another season barring a catastrophe.

However, Strasbourg welcome Monaco to a ground where they have failed to win any of their last four games - recording blanks in front of goal three times in that barren run - and Niko Kovac's men will need no second invitation to take advantage of their hosts' frailties.

Monaco manager Niko Kovac pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Not many teams have managed to prevent Olivier Dall'Oglio's Brest from finding the back of the net this term, but a well-drilled Monaco did just that on Sunday, although it took a little longer than usual for the title hopefuls to break the deadlock on their own turf.

Wissam Ben Yedder saw a first-half penalty brilliantly saved by the returning Gautier Larsonneur, but Stevan Jovetic finally drew first blood in the 76th minute before Kevin Volland's 13th league goal of the season ensured that Monaco kept the momentum going from their historic win at Paris Saint-Germain the weekend before.

Two points dropped in a 2-2 draw with Lorient has been the only blot on the landscape for Monaco and Kovac since the turn of the year, as they have won 10 out of their last 11 matches in all competitions, and a change in formation has helped to shore up Les Monegasques' previously leaky defence.

However, Monaco's attacking impetus suffered as Kovac elected to start three central defenders against the normally free-scoring Brest, but they got the job done in the end and it will be interesting to see if Kovac reverts to his tried-and-tested 4-4-2 this week.

Unsurprisingly, only PSG (61) have chalked up more goals than Monaco (56) after 27 matches, and the fourth-placed Monegasques are now only four points behind table-toppers Lille, while PSG and Lyon are at risk of being usurped as they sit two and one clear respectively.

Kovac's men travel to Strasbourg hopeful of extending their winning run away from home to seven league matches, and Monaco beat Les Coureurs 3-2 in a thriller earlier this season - a result which ended their four-game winless streak against Wednesday's hosts.

Strasbourg Ligue 1 form: LDLWDD
Strasbourg form (all competitions): DLLWDD

Monaco Ligue 1 form: WWWDWW
Monaco form (all competitions): WWWDWW


Team News

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

Strasbourg will be forced into one alteration as Ibrahima Sissoko is suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards, although a change in formation could negate the effects of the midfielder's loss.

Habib Diallo could return to partner Ajorque up top, allowing Jean-Eudes Aholou, Dimitri Lienard and Jean-Ricner Bellegarde to form a midfield trio behind playmaker Adrien Thomasson.

The injured trio of Mohamed Simakan, Matz Sels and Lebo Mothiba are all at various stages of their recoveries.

Monaco are once again in terrific shape and only have the attacking trio of Gelson Martins, Pietro Pellegri and Willem Geubbels sidelined.

Kovac could stick or twist with the three-man central defence he has utilised over the past couple of matches - Axel Disasi is the most likely to make way if the Monaco manager reverts to a 4-4-2 formation.

Aleksandr Golovin once again made a huge impact from the bench with both assists in Sunday's 2-0 win over Brest, and the Russian playmaker must surely come into Kovac's thinking for a start this week.

Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Kawashima; Guilbert, Djiku, Mitrovic, Caci; Aholou, Bellegarde, Lienard; Thomasson; Ajorque, Diallo

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


SM words green background

We say: Strasbourg 1-3 Monaco

Strasbourg have already taken a point off of one Ligue 1 title hopeful recently and will feel that there is no reason why they cannot repeat that feat on Wednesday. However, Monaco are crushing almost everything in their wake at the moment and their hot streak does not look like ending anytime soon, so we are backing Kovac's men to keep their hopes of silverware alive with a resounding win at a ground where Strasbourg have struggled to find their shooting boots.



Top 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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Lyon coach Rudi Garcia pictured on February 19, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Lille32209353193469
2Paris Saint-GermainPSG32213871234866
3MonacoMonaco32205767382965
4Lyon321810463313264
5Lens32141085144752
6Marseille32131094339449
7Rennes32139104035548
8Montpellier HSCMontpellier321210105253-146
9Nice32127134142-143
10Metz32119123638-242
11Angers32118133447-1341
12Reims32913103838040
13Saint-EtienneSt Etienne32109133647-1139
14StrasbourgStrasbourg32106164150-936
15Bordeaux32106163545-1036
16Brest32106164455-1136
17Lorient3288163858-2032
18Nimes3286183159-2830
19NantesNantes32513143249-1728
20Dijon3229212056-3615

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