Monaco face tough test against second placed Lille


Both Lille and Monaco go into this tie with the real need for all three points, the hosts Lille hope to continue their pursuit for Champions League football for the first time since the 2014-2015 campaign.

As for Monaco, they are in a battle they didn’t even expect to be in, last season the Monegasque side finished second behind only Paris Saint-Germain. The away side today are a whole 53 points off of their entire total from last season and European football is almost impossible.

Now Leonardo Jardim’s side are in a relegation battle after he came and went with former club legend Thierry Henry struggling in the same post. Despite his status in the game, he only picked up five wins in 20 games. The French side have picked up 12 points in seven games since their former manager rejoined.

Last time the two met the match ended 0-0 with striker Radamel Falcao missing a penalty for the then hosts Monaco.

Lille are unbeaten in their last five matches, during that time they have beaten St Etienne and Dijon FCO 1-0 while also beating EA Guingamp 2-0. The two draws were against Montpellier and Strasbourg.

As for the away side Monaco they have been flying recently they remain unbeaten in the last six, getting an impressive win over Lyon who are third in Ligue 1, as well as beating Nantes and Toulouse.

Christophe Galtier acknowledged that Monaco have improved since the January transfer window:

“The first half of the season they have 14 points in 19 games. They now have gained 13 points in 9 games. Monaco are not the same team: they are good dynamic. We can find the characteristics of Leonardo Jardim’s team in the game. They will be a difficult side to face, as there strengths are with their offensive play. We will have to come out a perform if we are to win in this match.”

Jardim spoke to the media on the severity of this match:

“All future games will be tough, we have to be physically and mentally ready and our goal is to win.”

“We are going to face the second best team in France. They have a great attack, a very fast quartet, they are able to open the gaps easily. We need to build up in the game, play our football.”

“We will have players suspended for the next two games, which will be an opportunity for those who have less time to play.”

The hosts have only one injury going into this match, defender Jeremy Pied is the only absentee as he will miss out with a groin injury.

Jardim’s side could be without a total of three players as Kevin N’Koudou and Willem Geubbels are doubts while Pele will miss the match through suspension.

Ivory Coast born winger Pépé has enjoyed a breakthrough season scoring 18 in 31 matches for the Les Dogues. He is also the leading assister for the North of France side as he has set up someone on 11 different occasions.

Colombian forward and club captain Falcao has been the leading example in the goalscoring department, he has netted 13 in 31 matches for the Les Rouges et Blancs and has scored four since Jardim was reappointed as manager.


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