Monaco host Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday in the final game of the Champions League group stage for both sides.
The match at the Stade Louis II will see Borussia Dortmund play out the group phase knowing that progression to the knockout stages is already secured, though Lucien Favre's side do still have an outside chance of snatching top spot ahead of Atletico Madrid in Group A.
Though that gives Dortmund something to play for in a sense on Tuesday, the odds are against them in pipping their La Liga counterparts to winning the group. Dortmund sit two points behind the Spanish leaders heading into the game, and Diego Simeone’s side can expect a relatively straightforward encounter with Club Brugge on the same evening,
Monaco, meanwhile, are merely playing for pride in their final group game. Thierry Henry’s side have just one point from their five games so far in the competition this season. With the French side languishing in the bottom three of Ligue 1, Tuesday’s clash with Dortmund is set to be Monaco’s final Champions League match for the foreseeable future.
Here’s 90min’s preview of the European showdown.
Where To Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Tuesday 11 December|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (BST)|
|Where Is It Played?||Stade Louis II|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport 2 HD (Red Button)|
Adding to what has been a deeply troubled season so far for Monaco, manager Thierry Henry has an extensive injury list to contend with ahead of Tuesday’s match.
Wingers Willem Geubbels and Rony Lopes are both side lined with hamstring injuries, whilst forwards Pietro Pellegri, Stevan Jovetic and goalkeeper Danijel Subasic are also struggling with the same problem.
Two defensive midfielders are also absent for the Ligue 1 side, with Jean-Eudes Aholou Kevin N’Doram both missing through a foot injury and a knee problem respectively.
Henry also has a significant problem at right back, with Djibril Sidibe suffering with a knock whilst Almamy Toure is also struggling with muscular problems. Further hampering Monaco’s right hand side, winger Jordi Mboula is ruled out with torn muscle fibre.
Dortmund, meanwhile, have far fewer fitness concerns ahead of Tuesday’s game, with defenders Marcel Schmelzer and Dan-Axel Zagadou the only names on Favre’s injury list. Both players are suffering with ankle problems.
|Monaco||Benaglio; Pierre-Gabriel, Glik, Jemerson, Raggi; Ait Bennasser, Henrichs, Tielemans, Golovin, Chadli; Falcao|
|Borussia Dortmund||Burki; Piszczek, Akanji, Diallo, Hakimi; Delaney, Witsel, Pulisic, Reus, Sancho; Alcacer|
Head to Head Record
The two sides last met at the Signal Iduna Park in October in the reverse fixture during this season’s Champions League group stage. On that occasion, the home side ran out comfortable winners.
Jacob Bruun Larsen, Paco Alcacer and Marco Reus struck the three goals to hand Dortmund all three points on that occasion, as the Bundesliga outfit took full advantage of a Monaco side which had suffered a dismal start to their season.
In previous times, the two sides also met at the quarter final stage of the competition during the 2016/17 season. Monaco edged the first leg in Dortmund, with a Kylian Mbappe brace and a Sven Bender own goal overpowering strikes from Ousmane Dembele and Shinji Kagawa as Monaco returned to France with a first leg lead.
Monaco sealed the deal in the second leg as goals from Mbappe, Radamel Falcao and Valere Germain sunk the visitors, who replied through a Marco Reus strike, at the Stade Louis II. Monaco won the tie 6-3 on aggregate, though the two sides were in very different positions to now.
As if Monaco’s season had not been disrupted enough already through sales of star players, changes in management and a miserably poor run of form, the recent political tensions in France have seen their Ligue 1 clash with OGC Nice ahead of Tuesday’s game postponed.
Prior to that, Monaco’s form had actually began to take an upturn under Henry, with Les Monegasques having won two of their three last outings in the league. A 1-0 win away to Caen in Ligue 1 preceded a 2-0 setback to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Another defeat shortly followed, as Henry’s side fell to a 1-2 defeat away to Montpellier in Ligue 1. However, Monaco returned to winning ways three days later with a 0-2 victory away to Amiens SC.
Dortmund, meanwhile, have been in fine form of late as Favre’s side continue to push for their first Bundesliga title triumph since 2011/12. A 2-1 win away to Mainz in the league was followed by a 0-0 draw away to Club Brugge in the Champions League.
Die Borussen were back among the goals soon after, though, as a 2-0 victory at home to Freiburg was followed by a 2-1 success away to Schalke to strengthen Dortmund’s position as leaders of the Bundesliga.
Here's a round-up of how both sides have fared in their previous five outings:
|Monaco 0-4 PSG
|Dortmund 3-2 Bayern
|Caen 0-1 Monaco
|Mainz 1-2 Dortmund
|Atletico Madrid 2-0 Monaco
|Dortmund 0-0 Club Brugge
|Monaco 1-2 Montpellier
|Dortmund 2-0 SC Freiburg
|Amiens SC 0-2 Monaco
|Schalke 1-2 Dortmund
Though Monaco have began to improve at gradual rates under Thierry Henry in recent weeks, and despite Dortmund having little left to play for on Tuesday with their progress to the knockout stages already sealed, the visitors should simply have too much quality for Monaco to handle.
Dortmund have been rampant as leaders of the Bundesliga this term and show few signs of weakness. With Paco Alcacer in fine form in attack, Monaco’s weary and injury-ravaged defence is unlikely to be able to cope with Dortmund’s sheer power and confidence.
Prediction: Monaco 0-4 Borussia Dortmund