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Jan 23, 2021 at 8pm UK
Maripan (47'), Tchouameni (75'), Jovetic (90+2')
Diatta (81'), Golovin (89'), Fofana (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Radonjic (12')
Balerdi (21'), Sakai (49'), Gonzalez (76'), Khaoui (82'), Gueye (90')

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

:Headline: Preview: Monaco vs. Marseille - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Ligue 1 clash between Monaco and Marseille, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

High-flying Monaco will be out to win their fourth Ligue 1 game on the bounce when they welcome Marseille to the Stade Louis II for a fascinating encounter on Saturday night.

In contrast, the visitors are in a rut and will be desperate to avoid a fourth straight defeat across all competitions this weekend.

Match preview

A title charge is certainly not out of the question for this in-form Monaco side, who have started 2021 as they mean to go on with nine points from three matches.

Niko Kovac has overseen wins against Lorient, Angers and Montpellier since the turn of the year, during which his side have scored at least three goals in each game, although they were made to work for their victory over the latter last Friday.

Monaco stormed into a 3-0 lead courtesy of a Wissam Ben Yedder brace and Kevin Volland's 10th of the season, and even though Montpellier's Elye Wahi and Andy Delort both struck to set up a nervy finale, Kovac's men nevertheless held on for all three points at the Stade de la Mosson.

Volland has now been involved in 17 of Monaco's 39 goals this term, while Ben Yedder also boasts 14 contributions to his name despite contracting coronavirus earlier in the season, and the two prolific strikers are leading an unforeseen Monegasques title charge.

Only six points separate the free-scoring Monaco from leaders Paris Saint-Germain - the one team who can boast more goals than Les Monegasques' 39 so far - and they are now welcoming an out-of-sorts Marseille to a ground where they have only lost once all season.

In contrast, any prospects of Marseille challenging for glory are looking thinner by the week, and their rescheduled game against Lens in midweek ended in yet another defeat.

A victory would have seen Marseille sit just one point behind fourth-placed Monaco ahead of this game, but Simon Banza's header on the stroke of the hour mark propelled Lens to a much-needed victory in their surprise pursuit of a European place.

The pressure is mounting considerably on the shoulders of Andre Villas-Boas, who has seen his side pick up just one win from their last eight across all competitions, and that home defeat to Lens came only a few days after they had been put to the sword on their own turf by a relegation-threatened Nimes.

Ten points now separate Marseille from PSG and Lille - who have both played a game more - and even if Villas-Boas's men can rip up the form book and prevail at Monaco, they cannot rise any higher up the table just yet.

Furthermore, Les Olympiens have only taken one point from their last three away matches - a 0-0 draw with 19th-placed Dijon - although they did beat Monaco 2-1 at the Orange Velodrome earlier in the season.

Monaco Ligue 1 form: LWDWWW

Marseille Ligue 1 form: DLWDLL
Marseille form (all competitions): LWDLLL

Team News

Monaco only have two absentees to worry about, as midfield duo Cesc Fabregas and Florentino Luis remain sidelined with a calf problem and coronavirus respectively.

Guillermo Maripan has displaced Axel Disasi in defence recently, while Djibril Sidibe is also expected to keep his place at right-back after forcing his way into the team.

Aleksandr Golovin is yet to start a game since returning from a serious hamstring injury, but Kovac could place his faith in the 24-year-old this weekend.

Marseille lost midfield lynchpin Boubacar Kamara to a muscular injury against Nimes and he will not return just yet, while Villas-Boas hopes to have Jordan Amavi back in time for the clash with Rennes on January 30.

On a more positive note, Alvaro Gonzalez is ready to come back into the defence after returning from a ban, while new arrival Pol Lirola was ineligible to face Lens but should return here.

The visitors recently rejected an offer from Aston Villa for midfielder Morgan Sanson, and Villas-Boas described the Premier League outfit's bid as "pathetic".

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

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Mandanda; Lirola, Gonzalez, Caleta-Car, Sakai; Gueye, Rongier; Thauvin, Sanson, Payet; Benedetto

We say: Monaco 3-1 Marseille

Volland and Ben Yedder are simply unstoppable for Monaco at the moment, and a reshuffled Marseille defence will be in for a taxing night at the Stade Louis II. The hosts' defence is not impenetrable, though, and the visitors should manage to get on the scoresheet, but Kovac's men simply boast too much attacking quality and are expected to march to a convincing win over their fellow European hopefuls.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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