France Ligue 1 - Match Prediction: Monaco VS Dijon

Match Time:4/11/2021 23:05 Sunday  (GMT+8)

France Ligue 1 --  Monaco   VS   Dijon

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Having broken into the top three of the Ligue 1 table, Monaco will look to make a statement of intent when they welcome basement side Dijon to the Stade Louis II on Sunday afternoon.


While the visitors are mathematically still capable of pulling off a great escape, it would take a footballing miracle for David Linares to somehow salvage his side's top-flight status now.


Match preview

Monaco breached Metz's defence at will in their most recent Ligue 1 encounter - thrashing Les Grenats 4-0 on April 3 - but their normally potent attackers were nullified by Metz in their midweek Coupe de France battle, as the game would be decided from the spot after a goalless stalemate in 90 minutes.


It was not a performance that Monaco would want to write home about, but Niko Kovac's side converted all of their spot kicks while Habib Maiga fluffed his lines, and Les Monegasques booked their spot in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 5-4 shootout victory during a gruelling evening.


As a result, the league and cup double is still a realistic possibility for Monaco, and they managed to leapfrog Lyon into third with last week's thrashing of Metz in the league, but four points separate them from leaders Lille before they do battle with Les Grenats on Friday.


Kovac's men have been almost unplayable since the turn of the year - with the shock 1-0 defeat to Strasbourg representing the only blot on the Croatian's notebook - and Monaco have now kept five successive clean sheets in all competitions - a testament to the tireless work of Axel Disasi, Benoit Badiashile and goalscoring centre-back Guillermo Maripan.


Les Monegasques are also unbeaten in their last eight games at the Stade Louis II in Ligue 1, and they also boast the highest points and goals tally of any team in the top flight on home soil, so Dijon will simply hope to keep the scoreline as low as possible in a match that is surely a foregone conclusion from the first whistle.


Ligue 2 beckons for Dijon following a joyless season in the big time, but upbeat manager Linares has refused to give up just yet while his side are mathematically capable of escaping the clutches of relegation, even after overseeing a dismal 2-0 defeat to Marseille last time out.


Les Hiboux' 11-game losing run is the worst out of any team in the top five leagues, and they could equal an unwanted 87-year-old record with a 12th successive defeat - matching the wretched streak suffered by CA Paris in the 1933-34 campaign - and not many will be placing bets on them managing to avoid that fate.


Linares's men have only gleaned 15 points all season and are 17 points adrift of safety with only seven games left to play, so if Dijon lose this weekend and 17th-placed Lorient prevail at Lens, the best that Les Hiboux could hope for would be an 18th-placed finish and a spot in the relegation playoff.


Such a scenario is extremely unlikely to occur, though, especially with Dijon facing in-form Nice and Rennes sides in the next two weeks, and they travel to the Stade Louis II having lost their last six away Ligue 1 matches - a tally that only Crotone (9) can beat in Europe's top five leagues.


A 15th-minute Kevin Volland winner for Monaco was all that could separate the two sides earlier in the season, and Dijon have only managed to prevail against Les Monegasques once in their last nine attempts, although that was as recently as January 2019.


Monaco Ligue 1 form: WWLDWW

Monaco form (all competitions): LWDWWW


Dijon Ligue 1 form: LLLLLL


Team News

Monaco attacker Gelson Martins has finally returned to the squad after a lengthy injury layoff, but the highly-rated Sofiane Diop remains sidelined with a hand injury, while Ruben Aguilar is COVID-positive.


Changes will most definitely be afoot, though, as 19-year-old Eliot Matazo's short run in the team is likely to come to an end as Aurelien Tchouameni returns to partner Youssouf Fofana in the middle.


Martins may not be ready to start two games in quick succession, so Aleksandr Golovin should return out wide to support the prolific duo of Wissam Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland, who boast a combined total of 19 goals and nine assists at the Stade Louis II this season.


Dijon are in relatively good shape for this battle, and the visitors will welcome Aboubakar Kamara and Didier Ndong back from suspension, with the latter possibly in line for a start over Jordan Marie in the engine room.


Eric Ebimbe would also be cleared to play this weekend after serving a ban of his own, and the winger is nearing a return from a thigh problem, while Roger Assale could also come into contention for a start after shaking off a muscular issue.


However, wantaway winger Mounir Chouiar is still struggling with an ankle problem, and Linares has also affirmed that Saturnin Allagbe will be his first-choice goalkeeper for the remainder of the campaign.


Monaco possible starting lineup:

Lecomte; Sidibe, Disasi, Maripan, Henrique; Diatta, Fofana, Tchouameni, Golovin; Ben Yedder, Volland


Dijon possible starting lineup:

Allagbe; Boey, Manga, Panzo, Coulibaly, Muzinga; Lautoa, Ndong, Celina; Konate, Balde


Monaco VS Dijon

Monaco 3-0 Dijon

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