AS Monaco will be desperate to record their first Ligue 1 win of the 2019-20 season when they welcome OGC Nice to Stade Louis II on Tuesday.
The games continue to come thick and fast in Ligue 1, with Matchday 7 of the 2019-20 season beginning on Tuesday. The big-name fixture of the day will see a struggling AS Monaco side play hosts to OGC Nice, still waiting to get their first win of the league campaign.
2018-19 was a season to forget for AS Monaco, who only narrowly avoided relegation despite the return of Leonardo Jardim. And, it has been more of the same at the start of the current campaign for the Principality club, who are winless after the first six games and are languishing in the relegation zone.
OGC Nice, on the other hand, have begun their quest for a return to European football rather well. Les Aiglons have won four of their first six games this season and sit third on the Ligue 1 table, with reigning champions PSG just three points ahead.
The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 1-1 draw, with Benoit Badiashile equalising for AS Monaco after Allan Saint-Maximin had put Nice in front in the first half. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
Leonardo Jardim has seen his squad’s injury woes ease up to some extent ahead of the visit of OGC Nice, with Wissam Ben Yedder and Islam Slimani returning to the fold. But, the AS Monaco manager will continue to be without five first-team players on Tuesday.
Danijel Subasic remains unavailable due to a hamstring injury, although Benjamin Lecomte is nailed on as the first-choice goalkeeper. The absence of Benjamin Henrichs means that Ruben Aguilar is a certain starter in what should be the right wing-back slot, with Jardim continuing to keep his faith in the 3-5-2 formation.
The back-three is likely to comprise of Guillermo Maripan, Benoit Badiashile and Monaco captain Kamil Glik. Gil Dias ought to be deployed as the left wing-back once again after impressing in the role last time out against Reims.
Dias and Aguilar will flank a three-man central midfield partnership of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Cesc Fabregas and Aleksandr Golovin, with Fabregas returning to the starting lineup to provide more creativity. Ben Yedder and Slimani’s return to fitness mean Monaco’s joint-top scorers so far ought to form the strike partnership for Monaco against Nice.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Lecomte; Maripan, Glik, Badiashile; Ruben Aguilar, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Golovin, Gil Dias; Slimani, Ben Yedder
Patrick Vieira has a few fitness concerns of his own to deal with ahead of the trip to face AS Monaco this week. On Tuesday, the OGC Nice boss could be without as many as six players, with Dante, Ibrahim Cisse, Mohamed Lamine Diaby, Gautier Lloris, Remi Walter and Christophe Herelle all expected to miss out.
The raft of injuries to defensive personnel means that Vieira is severely stretched for options for the central defensive partnership, with Malang Sarr and Andy Pelmard likely to start at the heart of the Nice defence. Stanley N’Soki ought to move out to the left-back slot, while Patrick Burner should continue on the opposite flank.
The midfield trifecta should see Danilo starting as the deepest of the three midfielders, with Wylan Cyprien and Arnaud Lusamba accompanying him in the middle of the park. Up ahead in attack, Adam Ounas is a certain starter, while Kasper Dolberg should lead the line against Monaco, with Youcef Atal completing the starting lineup.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Benitez; Burner, Pelmard, Sarr, N’Soki; Lusamba, Danilo, Cyprien; Ounas, Dolberg, Atal
- AS Monaco have prevailed in just one of their last six Ligue 1 meetings with OGC Nice (D2 L3).
- Each of OGC Nice’s six league matches this season have ended with a scoreline of 2-1.
- AS Monaco have managed to win just one of their last eight Ligue 1 games at Stade Louis II (D3 L4).
- AS Monaco have failed to keep a clean sheet in 5 of their last 6 matches in Ligue 1, while OGC Nice have not kept a shut out in any of their last 6 league outings.
- AS Monaco have won none of their last seven Ligue 1 games (D3 L4), the longest current such drought in the French top-flight.
Player to Watch
A lack of offensive strength is hardly the problem for AS Monaco, who have created the second most chances in Ligue 1 so far. But, the Principality club still need to make optimum usage of their resources and Cesc Fabregas is one player who desperately needs to step up for the hosts.
With two top class strikers in Wissam Ben Yedder and Islam Slimani playing in front of him, Fabregas really does not have any shortage of firepower to supply. If he can manage to rediscover his best levels, the Spaniard could help Monaco kickstart their season.
AS Monaco 1-2 OGC Nice
Tuesday’s big game in Ligue 1 pits two sides that have been struggling defensively so far this season. With both AS Monaco and OGC Nice also being highly creative outfits, the game is unlikely to have very little in way of goalmouth action. However, Leonardo Jardim & co. just cannot seem to catch a break at present, which is why we are predicting a narrow win for Patrick Vieira’s men.