Monaco go in search of a seventh successive Ligue 1 victory when they welcome Angers to the Stade Louis II on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts kept themselves in the mix for the Champions League places as a result of another win last weekend, whilst the visitors extended their winless run further to leave them in danger of the drop at the wrong end of the table.
With Monaco in such fantastic form and making the trip to a helpless Saint-Etienne side last Saturday, it was not too surprising to see Philippe Clement’s side record a comprehensive victory.
A quickfire double from Wissam Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland midway through the first half put Monaco in control from an early stage, although Wahbi Khazri’s penalty on the stroke of half time halved the deficit despite a dominant opening 45.
An own goal from Timothee Kolodziejczak, and a rare late goal from Myron Boadu, sealed an impressive 4-1 victory though as The Monegasques made it six wins on the bounce.
Defeat for Strasbourg resulted in a climb to fourth spot in the table, but wins for Rennes and Nice mean the desired Champions League place remains out of their grasp for the time being.
However, heading into the weekend level on points with Les Rennais, Monaco remain in touching distance of the final qualification spot for Europe’s grand stage.
Although, with Rennes hosting struggling Saint-Etienne on home soil, a seventh consecutive win is unlikely to be enough for Monaco to claim third place by the end of matchday 35, but Clement will have his side fully focused on what they can control – all three points against Angers on Sunday.
Angers coach Gerald Baticle on February 4, 2022© Reuters
Whilst the hosts find themselves on an unstoppable run of form heading into this clash, the visitors continue to struggle at the other end of the table following a five-match winless streak.
In fact, taking into account the seven successive defeats prior to that 1-0 victory over Brest back in March, Angers have only managed to pick up all three points on one occasion in their last 13 outings.
As a result, their bright start to the campaign is all that has kept Gerald Baticle’s side out of immediate danger, although only a narrow four-point gap remains over Saint-Etienne in the relegation playoff spot.
With eight points keeping Le SCO above Bordeaux in the automatic relegation zone, Sunday’s visitors should be safe from the immediate drop, but with a daunting trip to high-flying Monaco on Sunday unlikely to yield even a single point, Baticle and his team will be hopeful that fellow relegation candidates continue to drop points elsewhere too.
Huge meetings with Bordeaux and Metz follow the trip to the Stade Louis II, so much of their focus and effort is likely to be concentrated on the fixtures to follow, although Baticle will be keen to see his side demonstrate more character than they did last weekend, when Angers threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Clermont.