Nantes were just amazing last round away at Bordeaux. Coach Zakarian just became one my favorite coaches in Ligue1.
They let Bordeaux dominate but didn’t give them any chance for creating real opportunities. Meanwhile Nantes successfully converted all the chances they created on counters. They just mastered this tactic and most likely will apply it again vs Monaco.
The defense constantly helped by the 2 central midfielders was just imperial. Sadly for Nantes key central defender Djilobodji will miss through suspension.
Replacement will most probably be Venezuelan Cichero, a player of a lower value, but he may be good enough to stop a Monaco side with diminished offensive potential.
A couple of rounds ago coach Ranieri realized what Monaco’s problem is: they were using 2 defensive midfielders and the gaps between offensive players were bigger than usual (also because team still lacks a proper chemistry). With the offensive players being disconnected, defensive midfielders often engaged in actions high up the field, leaving the defense exposed to any potential counters. That is why Monaco often conceded.
So Ranieri took off 1 defensive midfielder and added an offensive one instead. Team looked better but still it didn’t work out because players’ individualism.
Now winger Ocampos is suspended for Monaco. At a first sight his absence could go unnoticed, but Monaco will have to return to the previous system with 2 defensive midfielders, when, just like a paradox, the defense was always uncovered.
Fullback Fabinho and central midfielder Kondogbia are also suspended, but their absences won’t make any difference.
Monaco will push hard in the attempt to end the bad run involving every player in the offensive phase (except the 2 central defenders). Nantes +0.5 at 1.72 is one of the best bets on Sunday night.