Monaco were a bit lucky to get away with 1 point last round at St Etienne (drew 1-1).
There were long periods in which Monaco were under heavy domination and only opponents’ offensive inefficiency saved them from conceding more. The most active player was defensive midfielder Toulalan who succeeded in stopping many dangerous actions.
Things should be different now as Monaco will transform from underdogs to favorites. They always honor the favorite status by holding possession and struggling hard to create goalscoring opportunities. Unfortunately they are not exactly bursting with creativity and need to compensate by bringing many players to the offensive phase (fullbacks for example).
Hosts will welcome back striker Berbatov after injury but will miss central defender Raggi and central midfielder Bakayoko, both of them suspended. Problems don’t stop here as forward Dirar and midfielder Kondogbia are doubtful.
Caen have been very offensive lately and as a result they have been conceding goals from all possible positions. Last round for example Caen heavily dominated against Nantes, but opponents took them by surprise and scored twice despite having only a few real goalscoring opportunities (Nantes won 2-1).
Caen looked better when they applied counter attack tactics and let opponents be in charge of the game. Using that strategy they got some impressive away from home results, like winning at Evian and Reims and drawing at Toulouse and Bordeaux.
Against Monaco there is a high possibility that Caen will switch back to a more defensive strategy and rely primarily on counters. With fast and talented players like Duhamel, Bazile or Nangis, Caen can take advantage of Monaco’s defensive absences and their need to bring many players in the attacking phase. Caen +0.75 at 2.11
UPDATE: It looks like Kondogbia and Dirar are fit for action but Monaco will have to do without important fullback Kurzawa and winger Carrasco.
Monaco: Stekelenburg, Subasic – Abdennour, R.Carvalho, Ab.Diallo, Echiejile, Fabinho, Wallace – Dirar, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Ocampos, B.Silva, Toulalan – Berbatov, Germain, Martial, L.Traoré
Caen: Vercoutre, Perquis – Calvé, Da Silva, Imorou, Pierre, Al.Yahia, Raineau – Adéoti, Saez, N.Kanté, Féret – Nangis, Bazile, Raspentino, Duhamel, Koita, Privat