Last round was the first time this season when Monaco managed to score three times in a game (won 3-1 at Bastia). Still, the difference between teams was not that clear as the scoreline suggests.
The first goal came quickly after five minutes and the last two goals were scored in the final quarter when Bastia tried to be a bit more aggressive as they were searching for the winner.
Monaco missed three of their best players, striker Berbatov, fullback Kurzawa and play-maker Moutinho. Winger Carrasco felt more comfortable without Moutinho and Kurzawa on the field and took many actions on his own, delivered two assists and scored a goal.
Carrasco is a talented young player but plays too much for the cameras instead of the team. He always tries unnecessary dribbling moves and stretches Moutinho’s nerves to maximum. He plays mostly on the same side as fullback Kurzawa and the latter being one of the most talented players in Ligue1 steals all the attention. It is no wonder that Carrasco made a great game when Moutinho and Kurzawa were out.
Moutinho and Kurzawa are once again doubtful.
Reims will arrive at Monaco after a disappointing game in the Cup against Arles (lost 3-2 in extra time). In-spite being eliminated from the Cup there is some good news for Reims. Their major problem so far was the lack of form in the offensive department. But winger Diego was very active last round and showed increased playing appetite, Moukandjo scored a great goal in the dying moments and assured the three points (Reims won 1-0 against Montpellier) and center forwards De Preville and Courtet both scored in the Cup game.
Coach Vasseur never used this formula before but it would be great for Reims’ offensive phase if both Diego and Moukandjo would start on the flanks and upfront either De Preville or Courtet instead of Charbonnier.
Monaco haven’t been convincing in performances regardless their results. On the other hand Reims have been constantly improving and now with the attacking players in good form and confidence guests can return home with at least one point. Reims +1 at 2.17
UPDATE: Dirar has joined Kurzawa on the sidelines, but on the other hand Monaco welcome back midfielder Moutinho.
Monaco: Stekelenburg, Subasic – Abdennour, R.Carvalho, Echiejile, Fabinho, Raggi, Wallace – T.Bakayoko, Ferreira Carrasco, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Ocampos, Ber.Silva, Toulalan – Germain, A.Martial, L.Traoré, A.Kamara
Reims: Agassa, Placide – Conte, M.Fofana, Mandi, Mavinga, Signorino, Tacalfred – Bourillon, Devaux, Fortes, Oniangué, Diego – Charbonnier, Courtet, De Préville, Moukandjo, Ngog