Fussball Server previews Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash between Monaco and Nantes, including team news and predicted lineups.
Monaco and Nantes will both be aiming to secure their second Ligue 1 victory on the bounce when the two sides lock horns on Sunday afternoon at the Stade Louis II.
Monaco enjoyed a 1-0 victory over Metz in the most recent round of fixtures, while Nantes overcame Nimes 2-1 last time out.
Despite the formidable front three of Gelson Martins, Wissam Ben Yedder and Henry Onyekuru at Monaco, Niko Kovac has been indebted to his young defenders in the early stages of the 2020-21 campaign.
Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile both netted in Monaco’s 2-2 draw with Reims on the opening weekend, and the latter chalked up his second goal in as many matches to set Les Monegasques on their way to victory against Metz in gameweek two.
Monaco cannot rely on their highly-rated centre-back pairing to bail them out in every match, but there is every reason to be excited about the future given Disasi’s and Badiashile’s performances thus far.
A ninth-placed standing was a hugely disappointing end to the most recent campaign for the 2016-17 champions, but a European berth is firmly in Monaco’s sights this time around.
With the fixture list having been disrupted by European ventures and the coronavirus pandemic, Monaco took part in a friendly match with fellow Ligue 1 outfit Nice last Friday, and Kovac’s men triumphed in a five-goal thriller by three goals to two in that encounter.
Like their opponents, Nantes also recorded a narrow victory of their own in the second round of fixtures as they came up trumps in a hotly-contested clash with Nimes.
Christian Gourcuff‘s men managed to hold on to a 2-1 lead despite finishing the game with nine players, with Imran Louza given his marching orders after netting his side’s second before Fabio also saw red late on.
Nantes’s victory against Nimes was their first on home soil in the French top flight since the turn of the year, and La Maison Jaune will certainly be eyeing a top-half finish this time around after placing 13th in the curtailed 2019-20 campaign.
However, Nantes have lost their last four meetings with Monaco and have only managed to triumph against their opponents once in their last 14 encounters – a run stretching all the way back to when both clubs plied their trade in Ligue 2.
Monaco Ligue 1 form: DW
Nantes Ligue 1 form: DW
Kovac will be without two of the midfield three who started in the victory over Metz, with Youssouf Fofana seeing red and Aleksandr Golovin being forced off through injury after just 16 minutes.
Cesc Fabregas and Jean-Eudes Aholou are likely contenders to deputise in the middle of the park, while Sofiane Diop is also an option for Kovac.
Ben Yedder’s place up top could be under threat with the recent arrival of Kevin Volland from Bayer Leverkusen, while Stevan Jovetic will be hoping to get some minutes on the board as well.
Nantes have two suspensions of their own to contend with following Louza’s and Fabio’s red cards, meaning Mehdi Abeid and Charles Traore could come back into the fold, although the latter is nursing a thigh problem.
Captain Abdoulaye Toure has also fully recovered from coronavirus but may not be thrown straight back into the first XI.
However, Gourcuff has confirmed that winger Marcus Coco will miss this one out, while Anthony Limbombe also remains on the treatment table.
Monaco possible starting lineup:
Lecomte; Aguilar, Badiashile, Disasi, Sidibe; Aholou, Fabregas, Tchouameni; Martins, Ben Yedder, Onyekuru
Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Appiah, Pallois, Girotto, Traore; Chirivella, Abeid; Bamba, Blas, Simon; Coulibaly
We say: Monaco 2-1 Nantes
Monaco’s front three must begin firing on all cylinders soon if Kovac’s side are to keep their promising run of form going, but Nantes have lost some key players to injury and suspension ahead of the weekend showdown, so we are backing the hosts to come out on top in what should be an entertaining spectacle in gameweek three.
Top betting tip
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