MX23RW : Wednesday, October 7 21:32:03| >> :600:230112:230112:
Aug 23, 2020 at 12pm UK at Stade Louis II
Disasi (45+2'), Badiashile (55')
Disasi (90')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Dia (5'), Bilal Toure (21')
Kutesa (41'), Faes (76'), Foket (90')

Preview: Monaco vs. Reims - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Monaco and Reims, including team news and predicted lineups.

Monaco will kick off their 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign on Sunday when they welcome Reims to the Stade Louis II for the opening round of fixtures.

The home side ended the 2019-20 campaign in ninth before the coronavirus pandemic led to the abandonment of the season, while Reims secured sixth spot and a route into the Europa League.

Match preview

Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac pictured on March 2, 2019© Reuters

While Monaco managed to vastly improve on their 2018-19 finish in the most recent season, new manager Niko Kovac will be aware of the strenuous task he faces as the side bid to challenge for European football this time around.

The eight-time Ligue 1 champions ended the 2019-20 campaign in mid-table obscurity with 40 points to show from 28 matches, although Monaco were only one point adrift of the top six before the season was curtailed.

However, a ninth-placed finish was not enough to prevent Robert Moreno from being relieved of his duties earlier in the summer - in spite of the fact that Monaco only suffered one defeat from their final six league outings in the most recent season.

Kovac has a plethora of talent at his disposal in Fontvieille, and Les Monegasques ended their pre-season in perfect fashion with a 2-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar.

Furthermore, Monaco's home form suggests that Reims will be strapping in for a testing afternoon - Kovac's side have eight wins from their last 11 on familiar territory and have not failed to score at the Stade Louis II since last August.

Reims head coach David Guion pictured in January 2019© Reuters

Meanwhile, Reims will be looking to build on their fantastic 2019-20 campaign which saw them qualify for European competition for the first time in 58 years.

The six-time Ligue 1 champions had managed to string together a four-game unbeaten streak in the top flight just before the lockdown period, and Reims finished one point better off than seventh-placed Lyon after 28 matches, while Nice only finished ahead of David Guion's side on head-to-head points.

While the Reims faithful will undoubtedly be looking ahead to their side's European feats for the 2020-21 campaign, Guion's men must first navigate a taxing trip to Monaco as they look to end a three-game winless streak on the road in Ligue 1.

Guion's men took part in nine pre-season friendlies in preparation for the new campaign, and the Europa League contenders recorded 3-1 victory over Danish outfit Midtjylland in their most recent fixture.

Monaco and Reims played out a 1-1 draw in this fixture at the end of February, but the away side have only managed to prevail in one of the last 10 meetings between the two clubs in all competitions.

Team News

Monaco's Benoit Badiashile in action against Lyon in Ligue 1 in February 2019© Reuters

Monaco striker Stevan Jovetic received a straight red card in their loss to Nice just before the shutdown, but the 30-year-old will be available here after the league announced that players serving three-match bans would receive exemptions.

However, Jovetic is not likely to displace Wissam Ben Yedder up front, with the Frenchman netting 18 top-flight goals last season to share the top scorer accolade with Kylian Mbappe.

Highly-rated defenders Benoit Badiashile and Axel Disasi - the latter of whom is gearing up for a reunion with former club Reims - are both in contention to feature from the opening whistle.

Meanwhile, Guion only has one absentee to contend with in the form of Greek striker Anastasios Donis, who is struggling with an ankle problem.

Midfielder Marshall Munetsi was also reported to have suffered an injury in the same area, but the 24-year-old was named in the starting line up against Midtjylland and could keep his place here.

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Lecomte; Aguilar, Badiashile, Disasi, Ballo-Toure; Tchouameni, Fofana, Golovin; Martins, Ben Yedder, Onyekuru

Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Foket, Faes, Abdelhamid, Konan; Munetsi, Chavalerin; Cafaro, Berisha, Zeneli; Dia

SM words green background

We say: Monaco 3-1 Reims

Kovac will be desperate to see his Monaco side get off to the perfect start this weekend, and while Reims have lost Disasi to their weekend opponents, the away side are certainly not to be underestimated. However, Monaco's front three have the pace and skill to cause the Reims defence plenty of problems, so we are backing the home side to come out on top in the opening round of fixtures.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data


Who will win Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Monaco and Reims?

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