It was surprising to see Monaco being defeated last round away at Evian (lost 1-0).
Just like in most their games, Monaco were the ones in control and creating the most dangerous chances.
Coach Ranieri carries a big responsibility for this result as he switched the system exactly when the it gave the best results and players had achieved full potential.
Instead of starting with 2 strikers, Berbatov and Germain who were both in-form, coach Ranieri preferred to sacrifice one of them and give a chance to winger Ocampos who has been mostly a bench warmer in the second part of the season. Ranieri realized the mistake at half time and substituted Ocampos, but by that time it was too late, as both Berbatov and Germain failed to find a rythm.
Play-maker Rodriguez was moved on the flank where he is not feeling that comfortable, and this also affected Monaco’s game. Rodriguez even missed an incredible opportunity.
Ranieri can be quite stubborn sometimes so there is no assurance that he will switch back to using 2 strikers from the beginning of the game.
Monaco will welcome back midfielder Moutinho who was injured for a couple of rounds.
The game between Nantes and Bordeaux last round was one of the most boring encounters since the birth of Ligue1 (finished 0-0). Neither side had the capacity to build threatening actions and instead concentrated on defending.
Nantes are quite good when it comes to the defensive phase mainly because of the increased level of organization. Even if they still miss central defender Djilobodji and first choice keeper Riou, Nantes are capable of closing down ranks and creating a fortress at the back.
Upfront Nantes will once again miss striker Djordjevic.
If Monaco will once again start with one striker, and with Ocampos and Rodriguez on the sides, they will struggle for 90 minutes to open up Nantes but all their efforts could be in vain.
UPDATE: No surprises in the squads.
Monaco: Roma, Se.Romero, Subasic – Abdennour, Abidal, R.Carvalho, Fabinho, Isimat-Mirin, Raggi – Dirar, Ferreira-Carrasco, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Obbadi, Ocampos, Pi, J.Rodriguez, Toulalan – Berbatov, Germain, Rivière
Nantes: Dupé, Zelazny – Alhadhur, Djidji, Veigneau, Is.Cissokho, Vizcarrondo – Bedoya, Deaux, Nicolita, R.Gomis, B.Touré, Veretout – Audel, Pancrate, Gakpé, I.Bangoura, Shechter