Champions League hopefuls AS Monaco start this weekend's Ligue 1 fixture on Saturday against Metz. Since there was an international break, no Friday games will be played this weekend, so the match will kickoff on an unusual Saturday afternoon.
Monaco hope to put the top three in pressure
With Monaco getting a chance to play first again, they can be one point shy of top place with a win against Metz. A confident 4-0 win against St-Etienne put Niko Kovac closer to the top three last time out. Both Lille and Lyon lost their respective games later that week.
There is still title hope for the club who battle for their safety in 2018-19, but the most important thing now is the Champions League berth. Any slip-ups from the top three would put Monaco one step closer to the elusive top spot. Still, they first need to make sure of making it into Europe's premier competition.
Monaco only lost once in 2021 as they win 12 of their 15 league games since the turn of the year. These kinds of form would put them as one of the teams to challenge PSG for Coupe de France while you can't rule out the possibility of a return to the Champions League.
When and where to watch?
The match kicks off at 12:00 pm on Saturday 3rd April 2021, and the entire game will be available on BT Sport.
Metz are better on the road
Frederic Antonetti's side has a better record away from home as only five of their 11 wins came at Stade Saint-Symphorien. All of their last three wins were recorded in away fixtures.
Their last home win came against struggling Nantes, and they're currently in a three-game losing streak. The story away from home is different as they collected seven points from their last three fixtures.
Yet only the win against Olympique Lyon was Metz's victory against a team placed higher than them in the standings. They lost to Rennes last time out, with Pape Ndiaga Yade's 90th-minute goal a mere consolation in a 3-1 defeat. Highly-rated Rennes attacker Jeremy Doku scored his very first goal but saw a straight red card early in the second half despite Metz's inability to capitalize on the extra-man advantage.
Metz won twice in a row against Monaco before this season
The reverse fixture ended in a narrow win for Monaco on the second matchday. Benoit Badiashile scored the only goal of the game, and once again, Metz failed to take advantage of a red card for an opponent. Youssouf Fofana's sending off in the first minute of the second half mattered little.
Metz recorded two successive wins against the Monegasques before that. Still, those are their only success in the sides' last ten meetings.
Monaco & Metz Team News
Wingers Willem Geubbels and Gelson Martins are the only absentees from Monaco.
Alexandre Oukidja will continue to be missed in goal through suspension, so Marco-Aurele Caillard will replace him for Metz. Warren Tchimbembe and Ibrahima Niane, who is still Metz's top scorer despite last playing in the first game of October 2020, are the other players who will not make the trip to Monaco.
Monaco to record another impressive victory?
With three of their young prospects in the Euros U21 Championship, Monaco showed they have a team for the future. A win here would help them immensely in lifting the side to a Champions League berth and, perhaps, a title race. Lille and PSG will go head-to-head later in the day before third-place Lyon travel to in-form Lens. Metz will face more daunting tasks in the latter stages of the season as they hope to finish in the table's top half.
|Monaco to win||1/2 (1.5)||SBK|
|Wissam Ben Yedder to score anytime||5/4 (2.25)||Sport Nation|
|Kevin Volland to score anytime||6/4 (2.5)||Paddy Power|