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Sep 22, 2021 at 6pm UK
St EtienneSaint-Etienne
Volland (27'), Ben Yedder (62' pen., 86')
Sidibe (23')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Bouanga (41')
Kolodziejczak (60')
Green (33')

Preview: Monaco vs. Saint-Etienne - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Monaco host Saint-Etienne in Wednesday's Ligue 1 fixture, with the visitors looking to get out of the relegation zone when they travel to the Stade Louis II.

Whilst that may have been a tall order in the past, the hosts have been struggling themselves at times during this campaign.

Match preview

Monaco have struggled to juggle domestic and European commitments since the first week of the season, and find themselves just one point above the relegation zone in 14th.

Nico Kovac's men were knocked out of the Champions League playoff round, after a 3-2 aggregate loss to Shakhtar Donetsk, and took a single point from their first three Ligue 1 fixtures, which were - on paper, at least - not overly difficult games against Nantes, Lorient and Lens.

They have perhaps begun to turn a corner now, though, with a first victory of the season away at Troyes, a 1-0 win over Sturm Graz in their opening Europa League game, and a strong result against high-flying Nice at the weekend.

Les Aiglons had started the season very well, with three victories in their opening four games - two of which were 4-0 thrashings - and came into a home game against Monaco as clear favourites on form.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring, though, with Aleksandr Golovin becoming the first man to find a way past Nice goalkeeper Walter Benitez this season. Two second-half goals for the home side turned the game around, but a Wissam Ben Yedder penalty pulled Monaco level and they were able to hang on for a point, as Nice missed a late penalty.

Kovac will be hoping to build on the momentum that they have been building, and Saint-Etienne will likely present them with a decent opportunity to do just that.

A reasonable - if frustrating - start to the season for Saint-Etienne, with three draws from their opening three games, has quickly transformed into a poor one.

They followed up those draws with three consecutive losses so, what could have been seen as a three-game unbeaten streak - if your cup is half-full - has suddenly turned into a six-game winless streak.

Les Verts' most recent fixture was also very winnable, as they took on Bordeaux - the only team below them heading into the weekend - at home.

However, Hwang Ui-jo scored twice as Les Girondins ground out a 2-1 victory in torrential rain, with Wahbi Khazri seeing his third goal of the campaign count for nothing.

Claude Puel's side were, at least, spared the ignominy of falling to the bottom of the table, after Metz's 3-0 loss, but the result will see the pressure increase yet further on their under-fire manager.

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

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

Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Djibril Sidibe was a surprise inclusion in the Monaco starting XI against Nice, with the defender having been expected to miss out with a muscular issue.

Myron Boadu was also suitably recovered from a fever to take a spot on the bench, which will leave Jean Marcelin as Kovac's only injury worry for Wednesday.

Gelson Martins replaced Kevin Volland in the front two at the weekend, but will likely drop back to the bench as the manager rotates during a busy period.

Saint-Etienne have a few injury issues, with Alpha Sissoko and Aimen Moueffek yet to recover from a thigh injury and a broken arm respectively, and Yvann Macon likely out with a calf problem until October.

Saidou Sow, Harold Moukoudi, Mickael Nade and Timothee Kolodziejczak look set to continue as the back four, with Ignacio Ramirez leading the line.

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

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Green; Sow, Moukoudi, Nade, Kolodziejczak; Neyou, Camara, Youssouf; Hamouma, Khazri, Ramirez

We say: Monaco 2-0 Saint-Etienne

Monaco appear to be on the up, after a tough start to the season, and should have enough to dispatch a Saint-Etienne side going in the opposite direction.

The visitors actually have the better record in this fixture - with four consecutive wins, before a draw and a loss last campaign - but we fancy Les Monegasques to come out as comfortable winners on this occasion.

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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