Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Monaco aiming for Nice revenge

Publish on 08/01/2018 at 00h00 - S. WILLIS


Beaten 4-0 when the teams last met in September, AS Monaco are out for revenge against Derby de la Côte d'Azur rivals OGC Nice in the Coupe de la Ligue quarter-finals on Tuesday night.

 OGC Nice - AS Monaco

The fortunes of Ligue 1 Conforama champions Monaco and last season's third-placed side Nice have contrasted sharply this season, with the former Paris Saint-Germain's nearest challengers midway through the French campaign, and the latter 14 points off their pace in sixth.

Lopsided last time

The principality side have only tasted defeat four times in the league this term, but the heaviest of those came at the hand of Les Aiglons in Week 5, when a Mario Balotelli brace helped Lucien Favre's side to a 4-0 win, and Favre's opposite number Leonardo Jardim is relishing the chance for revenge when the sides go head-to-head at the Allianz Riviera.

"We will play hard because our fans deserve our maximum effort for qualification," the Portuguese tactician told assorted media on Monday evening. "The message for the players is clear: we need to be more committed [than in the last meeting between the sides]. This match is the most important one this week. We'll think about Montpellier [their Week 20 opponents] after."

It has been a busy few days for the principality side, though they had little trouble against Championnat National 2 outfit AS Yzeure in the Coupe de France round of 64 on Saturday, with Guido Carrillo bagging a hat-trick in a 5-2 thrashing.

Carrillo place safe?

Jardim lost Montenegro forward Steven Jovetic to a thigh injury in that game. He joins Youri Tielemans (knee) and Adama Traoré (illness) on the sidelines. Club captain Radamel Falcao picked up a knock too, though Jardim is expected to exercise his ability to field a mostly full-strength side, with Carrillo once again leading the line.

"It will be a match with a lot of emotion, like every derby. We will try to play a big game," concluded Jardim. "Nice are always more motivated against us. They'll play on the counter-attack. I've already spoken to the players. We'll try not to leave too much space."

Space is something Nice afforded Toulouse FC too much of in their own Coupe de France tie last Saturday, with Somália giving the Ligue 1 Conforama strugglers a 1-0 win - Les Aiglons' first defeat for five games in all competitions. Favre is confident his side can bounce back.

Favre: 'big opponent'

"Monaco are the defending French champions and second in the league this season - they're a big opponent," he said. "They're coming back well, but we want to win this game before turning our focus to the league championship."

Like Monaco, Nice are likely to name an impressive side, with Christophe Jallet (hamstring), Arnaud Lusamba (knee) and Ignatius Ganago (groin) their only injury problems aside from the long-term absence of Mickaël Le Bihan, who has a broken ankle.

Probable line-ups:

Nice: Cardinale; Souquet, Marlon, Dante, Le Marchand; Seri, Mendy; Saint-Maximin, Tameze, Lees-Melou; Balotelli, Pléa

Monaco: Subasic; Sidibé, Glik, Jemerson, Jorge; Lopes, Fabinho, Moutinho, Lemar; Baldé, Carrillo