Laval vs Monaco
Visitors threaten to run riot again
Laval are set to name the same squad as last weekend, which means no Oscar Ewolo in midfield. The veteran former Brest and Lorient player arrived over the summer. Laval will be a bit weaker without him.
Monaco are at full strength following their 4-0 win over Tours on Monday night. Coach Claudio Ranieri will be hopeful Sebastian Ribas is available. The former Dijon striker was a late signing and not considered for inclusion against Tours. Vice-captain Gary Coulibaly returns from suspension. He will be a strong contender for a place in midfield.
Injured/unavailable: Oscar Ewolo (calf), Lhadji Badiane (knee), Renaud Dreuslin (ankle)
Monaco certainly sent out a signal of intent to the rest of the division with their 4-0 victory over Tours on Monday night. Goals from debutants Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Andrea Raggi plus two further strikes Ibrahima Toure and Valere Germain put Monaco 4-0 up by half-time before they eased off after the interval. They showed they’re capable of turning it on whenever they like. The worrying news for Laval is Monaco are unlikely to be tired for this game because Ranieri has such a strong squad at his disposal he can change five or six members of his starting line-up without weakening the side.
Laval has been a difficult place for visiting teams in recent seasons but Monaco are capable of playing on a different level altogether this season. Buzzing after that opening win, Monaco are the smart pick to make it two wins out of two.
HEAD TO HEAD
Six of 13 (46%) meetings between these sides in Laval have ended in draws.
Papinade (James Eastham) has written about French football for nearly two decades. He had written for the French-language version of Champions (the official UEFA magazine of the Champions League) and appeared in L'Equipe and on France 2 television. He was also a French football columnist for France24 (the world's biggest French-language news channel). He has interviewed some of French football’s names, including Samir Nasri, Didier Deschamps and Laurent Blanc. He lives in Lille, northern France and attends Ligue 1 and 2 games on a weekly basis.