Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Pressure on Monaco in Côte d'Azur derby

Publish on 23/09/2019 at 14:30


AS Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim remains under intense pressure going into Tuesday's Côte d'Azur derby against OGC Nice, but the principality club have struggled against their near neighbours in recent seasons.

 AS Monaco  -  OGC Nice 

Monaco come into Tuesday's game at the Stade Louis II still without a win to their name after six games this season, and a meagre total of three points means they lie in the relegation zone ahead of this first midweek round of the campaign.

Spirits were lifted as the principality club came away from a tricky trip to Champagne country on Saturday to face Stade de Reims with a 0-0 draw, but Monaco supporters continue to call for Jardim to go.

"Not conceding a goal is something positive. We were well organised and difficult to break down, which is important. We need to take the positives and we are working hard to get out of this situation," insisted the Portuguese coach, who was grateful to an outstanding display from goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte as Monaco escaped with a point from the Stade Auguste-Delaune.

Given the defensive problems Monaco have experienced this season, and the fact strike duo Wissam Ben Yedder and Islam Slimani were missing due to injury, there were plenty of reasons for Monaco to be pleased with that result.

Watch: Monaco battle to draw at Reims

However, it means they have won just once in their last 15 matches and Jardim could really do with wins as Monaco head into two home matches in five days, with the visit of Nice being followed by that of Brest on Saturday.

"I have already said it - it is understandable that the supporters grumble when the results are not there. We need to give our all and have our fans behind us," said Jardim of the fan discontent, while adding that he believes he can still rely on the backing of club president Dmitry Rybolovlev.

"I have always had the support of the president. There is lots of respect between us. We are still working together. He has always been very honest with me."

Watch: Dolberg on target as Nice beat Dijon

Jardim was hoping that Slimani and Ben Yedder would be able to return from their fitness problems here with the duo having netted six goals between them so far this season. Rubén Águilar is suspended, so Benjamin Henrichs could return at right-back. Cesc Fàbregas might start on the bench for the second game running.

Nice look to go joint top...

Monaco have not won any of their four meetings with Nice in the last two seasons, and Patrick Vieira's side certainly come into this latest encounter in better shape than their local rivals.

Les Aiglons came from behind to beat Dijon FCO 2-1 on Saturday at the Allianz Riviera, with Kasper Dolberg getting his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal following his recent move from Ajax. Youcef Atal then grabbed their winner and Nice - whose starting line-up at the weekend had an average age of just 22.6 - are just three points off Paris Saint-Germain and top spot.

"Monaco aren't where they should be in the league. They are going through a difficult period, our objective will be to try to keep the ball there, to play our game, to create chances and to score goals. We know that it won't be an easy game," said Vieira, who is without key defensive duo Dante and Christophe Hérelle at the moment.

Probable teams

Monaco: Lecomte; Henrichs, Maripan, Glik (c), Badiashile, Ballo-Touré; Bakayoko, Silva, Golovin; Ben Yedder, Slimani

Nice: Benítez; Atal, Pelmard, Nsoki, Sarr; Tameze, Cyprien (c), Lusamba; Ounas, Dolberg, Claude-Maurice