While Nico Kovac's side missed out on qualifying for the Champions League group stages, Sturm Graz are competing at this stage of a European competition for the first time in a decade.
On the back of last season's third-placed finish in Ligue 1, Kovac and his Monaco squad appeared well set to secure a return to the Champions League after a three-year absence.
However, despite holding an advantage in their playoff tie against Shakhtar Donetsk with 16 minutes remaining, Monaco squandered the chance of competing among European football's elite.
The disappointing double-header against the Ukrainian giants occurred during the middle of an alarming set of results, Kovac witnessing a fourth defeat in six matches at the weekend.
Marseille's 2-0 win at Stade Louis II has left Monaco down in 16th position in Ligue 1 ahead of the short trip to unbeaten Nice at the weekend.
While the prospect of that fixture may influence Kovac's team selection for this contest, the Croatian is also aware that he can ill-afford another setback in Europe.
As far as Sturm Graz are concerned, this fixture is one of their most notable of the past 10 years, having finally ended their streak of qualification exits.
The Austrian side had tried and failed to come through the early stages of European competitions six times before they got the better of Slovenian minnows Mura last month.
Graz have won just one league title since 2002, but everything appears to be moving in the right direction under Christian Ilzer after their third-placed finish during 2020-21.
Despite their opening-day defeat to runaway leaders Red Bull Salzburg, Graz have since collected 14 points from their last six league fixtures.
Summer signing Myron Boadu is one of a number of Monaco players who will expect to be handed an opportunity on Thursday night.
Despite failing to make a start in Ligue 1 or Europe this season, Cesc Fabregas will hope to feature in this game.
Barring any late fitness issues, Ilzer could stick with the Graz XI which started the 2-1 victory over SK Austria Klagenfurt.
Monaco possible starting lineup:
Nubel; Matsima, Pavlovic, Badiashile, Henrique; Martins, Fofana, Fabregas, Diop; Volland, Boadu
Sturm Graz possible starting lineup:
Siebenhandl; Gazibegovic, Affengruber, Wuthrich, Dante; Hierlander, Stankovic, Sarkaria, Kuen; Jantscher, Yeboah
We say: Monaco 3-1 Sturm Graz
Graz will fancy their chances of capitalising on Monaco's poor results of late, particularly with the pressure increasing on Kovac.
Nevertheless, we still expect the home side to come through with all three points in a match which should be easy on the eye.
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