Ligue 1 Match Preview: AS Monaco vs. Valenciennes

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Updated: December 18, 2013
Monaco

Match Date: 20 December 2013 (local)

Match Venue: Stade Louis II

 

Monaco

Now only two points short of the current table leaders’ overall score, Monaco are eyeing opportunity at gaining back the lead (which they did for six consecutive weeks) in the tournament. The side are notable for bagging clean sheets in all of their last five Ligue 1 matches, putting their total wins in the French top-tier football to 12 (out of 18 fixtures). They have drawn five times and only lost once this season—a very impressive record considering their “newly promoted” status.

 

Away from home, Monaco are very strong. But in their very own turf, they are even much stronger. Les Rouge et Blanc have never lost in any of their home matches since opening day, scoring seven victories (of which four were clean sheets) and two draws. Falcao and Riviere remain to be the key players of the squad (each scoring at least eight goals), and coach Claudio Ranieri will likely continue putting full trust into these linchpins who are also serving as inspirations to other team members.

 

Valenciennes

In terms of form, Valenciennes have the third worst showings this season, with a dismal record of W2-D5-L11. They may be slightly above of Ajaccio and Sochaux by a few points, but they are still part of the table’s bottom three and are therefore at high risk of relegation by the end of the season.

 

Les Athéniens’ massive success in the curtain raiser—when they were ranked at number two after scoring a 3-0 victory over Toulouse—was rapidly put on the rocks in just over four fixtures. Since week five, following serial defeats from other Ligue 1 contenders, the side have never loomed above the relegation zone. There is plenty of work Ariël Jacobs must do in order for his lads to pull off a strong comeback.

 

Football betting tip: Against a team that have proven their consistency and organization to be above-par, Valenciennes will have (yet again) a tremendous challenge to overcome. They are yet to make surprises, but for now, Monaco are on a much more rightful position to declare victory from this brawl.

 

Monaco | Image source: msn.com