In the first round after the winter break Monaco were lucky to get a draw against Gazelec Ajaccio (finished 2-2). In the next round Monaco mildly dominated, but it was no surprise to see Monaco in charge, since opponents Lorient were without their best three players (Monaco won 2-0).
At the moment Monaco are second in the table, but it seems they are punching above their weight.
Chemistry is at low levels and especially the offensive phase is a real let down. There are no fast paced actions, no triangles, no tunnels created, no nothing. Luckily for Monaco they have extremely skilled players and can always rely on individual talent.
With 2 or 3 exceptions they used the best possible team in the midweek Cup game, but still struggled away at Ligue 2 side Evian (Monaco won after extra time 3-1).
In the Cup Monaco had to do without midfielders Toulalan, Dirar and Lemar who may miss once again.
Toulouse are coming after two consecutive defeats against PSG, in the league and in the Cup, games in which Toulouse performed at decent standards and in-fact were pretty close of making a surprise.
In the Cup they even afforded to rest midfielder Akpa – Akpro, who is their most important player this season. He initiates most of Toulouse’s actions and is also heavily involved in the defensive phase.
Although their situation in the table is still very delicate, Toulouse seem more confident in this second part of the season. Especially in defense they are more solid and precise in interventions. The loose defense was the major cause for decline in the first part of the season, so hopefully Toulouse will distance themselves from the relegation zone pretty soon.
There is nothing impressive about Monaco nowadays and they even seem to lack determination. Toulouse can take advantage of the absences of Toulalan, Dirar and Lemar which will reduce Monaco’s overall strength. Toulouse +0.5 at 2.01
UPDATE: Monaco’s forward Lemar returned from injury but Toulalan, Dirar, Echiejile and Cavaliero are sidelined. Toulouse welcome back midfielder Machach
Monaco: Subasic, Nardi – R.Carvalho, Coentrao, Fabinho, Raggi, Wallace, N’Doram – T.Bakayoko, H.Costa, Lemar, Mexique, Moutinho, Pasalic, Ber.Silva, – Carrillo, Chaïbi, Mbappé, L.Traoré
Toulouse: Goicoechea, Lafont – I.Diop, W.Matheus, Somalia, Spajic, Tisserand, Moubandjé – Akpa-Akpro, Blin, Bodiger, Regattin, Trejo, Machach, T.Doumbia – Ben Yedder, Braithwaite, Pesic