Monaco finally recorded their first Ligue1 victory this season, 1-0 away at Nantes. They didn’t win following an impressive performance but because opponents lacked firepower and a minimum level of creativity in midfield.
The central defense with Raggi (usually a fullback) and grandpa Carvalho is definitely Monaco’s major weakness. Still, Monaco are in luck because fullbacks Kurzawa and Fabinho have great speed and always try to cover for the central defenders, just like midfielders Toulalan and Kondogbia do.
But the offensive phase suffers, regardless holding possession and having a striker like Falcao. The major problem is with midfielders Moutinho, Ocampos and Ferreira Carrasco who fail to create chances and provide enough balls for forwards.
The Champions League adventure ended for Lille even before it truly started (eliminated by Porto 3-0 overall).
Just like Monaco, Lille also have issues when it comes to building up play and creating opportunities for forwards. Players seem to be too static and always afraid to take initiative, like deliver through balls or try to outplay opponents with dribbling moves.
In normal conditions Lille look better than Monaco in defense, but they may have a hard time now since Basa is out injured and the other central defender Kjaer is highly doubtful. Besides lacking creativity and playing against a powerful side, those absences will offer Lille another reason not to adventure upfront.
With guests being a bit tired and maybe even depressed Monaco should have the initiative, but they won’t push that hard simply because they don’t have the means to do it. At a first sight this looks like a promising encounter but at a closer look it could be one of the most disappointing games of the round.
UPDATE: Lille’s central defender Kjaer recovered.
Monaco: Stekelenburg, Subasic – Abdennour, Carvalho, Echiejile, Fabinho, Kurzawa, Raggi – Dirar, Ferreira Carrasco, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Ocampos, B.Silva, Toulalan – Berbatov, Falcao, Germain, A.Martial
Lille: Stekelenburg, Subasic – Abdennour, Carvalho, Echiejile, Fabinho, Kurzawa, Raggi – Dirar, Ferreira Carrasco, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Ocampos, B.Silva, Toulalan – Berbatov, Falcao, Germain, A.Martial