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Nov 28, 2021 at 2pm UK
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Preview: Monaco vs. Strasbourg - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Monaco and Strasbourg meet at Stade Louis II in Ligue 1 action on Sunday afternoon in what is a six-pointer in the fight to get into the European places.

The hosts sit eighth in the table, one place behind their upcoming opponents, but with the two sides separated only by goal difference.

Match preview

A lack of goals is proving the biggest issue for Monaco, with their tally of 19 so far this season the lowest in the top half.

That has been clear to see recently with Nico Kovac's side drawing a blank in three consecutive games against Brest, PSV Eindhoven and Reims, so the manager will have been pleased to see two goals in each of their last two games.

In a match against Lille - another side arguably suffering from their success last year - they came back from two goals down and even found the equaliser through Wissam Ben Yedder after having been reduced to 10 men when Strahinja Pavlovic was dismissed in the 78th minute.

They went one better in the Europa League on Thursday, where their two goals - from Kevin Volland and Youssouf Fofana - earned them all three points, although they finished the match a man down once again after Fofana saw red just before the final whistle.

The Monegasques need no lessons in producing the goods at home, having taken 10 points from their last four matches on their own turf, and will be confident of closing the gap to the top five this weekend.

Strasbourg do not share their hosts challenges when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net, having scored the most of any side in the league with the exception of runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

A somewhat leaky defence has kept their goal difference in check at +6, but this season's campaign is nonetheless their best for many years.

Les Coureurs lost nine of their opening 12 games in 2020-21, eventually escaping relegation in 15th, just two points above the relegation playoff spot.

Julien Stephan's side would have been hoping for a win in their home match against Reims last weekend, but were ultimately relieved to snatch a point through a Jean Ricner-Bellegarde equaliser in the 96th minute.

Sunday's match is the start of a tough run of games against Monaco, Nice and Marseille and Stephan will likely be hoping that his team can simply take some points from them and retain their spot in the top half.

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

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

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

Team News

Monaco's Benoit Badiashile and Aleksandr Golovin are back from suspension but the former is a doubt after coming off as a precaution on Thursday, as is Aurelien Tchouameni who missed the game altogether.

Krepin Diatta looks set to be an absence from the wing after being injured during the previous game against Lille, but Eliot Matazo should be fit to start in central midfield.

Kovac will likely revert to the 4-4-2 he used against Lille, having switched to a 4-2-3-1 in the Europa League, with Volland and Myron Boadu leading the line.

As for Strasbourg, Ludovic Ajorque and Anthony Caci both return from suspension and will be expected to go straight into the starting XI.

With Maxime Le Marchand and Lebo Mothiba still both struggling for fitness, Stephan may well choose to leave his starting XI untouched since last weekend.

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Nubel; Aguilar, Disasi, Maripan, Henrique; Martins, Fofana, Matazo, Diop; Boadu, Volland

Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Sels; Perrin, Nyamsi, Djiku; Guilbert, Sissoko, Aholou, Lienard; Thomasson; Diallo, Gameiro

We say: Monaco 2-1 Strasbourg

Whilst Strasbourg will be better rested than Monaco, who played just 72 hours earlier, the hosts have the momentum from a win in that game to draw upon.

They also have more class in their squad and we are backing them to snatch all three points here with a narrow win.

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