Ligue 1 holders Monaco face bottom of the table Metz in a match crucial to both clubs.
Leonardo Jardim’s side understandably lack the same intensity of their extraordinary title winning year but still have the likes of Thomas Lemar, Fabinho and Radamel Falcao who will guide the club to a strong finish as the business end of the campaign approaches.
Where and when: Stade Louis II – 21 January, kick-off 16:00
Where you can see Monaco vs. Metz: BT Sport, Unibet live streaming
Last time: Monaco romped to a 5-0 win with a brace from Falcao and hat-trick from teen prodigy Kylian Mbappe.
Monaco v Metz Predictions and Preview
Despite their perilous position, all is not lost for Frederic Hantz and his squad. In recent weeks Metz have found a bit of form and back-to-back successes before the winter break was the perfect start if the division’s 20th placed club are to avoid relegation.
A maintained run needs to be put together and the comprehensive victories over Strasbourg – the only side to beat champions in waiting PSG, and comfortably placed mid-table side Montpellier, prove Monaco would be foolish to take the encounter for granted. The 1997-98 runners up are 14/1 to pull off another win and continue their quest for safety.
The Red and Whites have a challenging period of their own coming up with clashes against rivals Lyon, Marseille and Montpellier in three different competitions. Jardim will be boosted by the return to fitness of star striker Falcao. The Colombian missed the goalless draw against Michel Der Zakarian’s team and his absence was felt.
Monaco were toothless, lacking a focal point and the guaranteed goals their captain provides. With Falcao in the side last season’s league winners are a different proposition and the attacker is 3/1 to open the scoring. The hosts are predictably the match favourites at evens.
Jardim may look to freshen things up and give summer signing Youri Tielemans a rare run out. The Belgian youngster has had to settle for a place on the bench in his debut term in France and has the ability to test the keeper from distance. Tielemans is 17/1 to register his first domestic goal for the club.
One to watch for Monaco: Lemar is on the radar of Arsenal and Liverpool but continues to let his football do the talking. The Frenchman is 8/1 to net last.
One to watch for Metz: Nolan Roux is his side’s top scorer this term and is the biggest threat to Monaco’s backline. The forward is 14/1 to notch any time.
Long shot: History will be against the lowly Maroons on Sunday afternoon. Metz have taken the three points in this fixture only once in the last seven meetings but, perhaps more worryingly, have only scored twice in the same period. A 2-0 triumph for the visitors is priced at 30/1.