Lyon v Monaco Preview

Olympique Lyonnais face AS Monaco on Sunday night in the closing match of the eighth round of fixtures in Ligue 1. The game kicks off at 21:00 local time and will be shown live on BT Sport 1 in the UK (kick off 20:00 GMT).

Lyon go into the match at close to full strength with the only doubts concerning Belgian centre-back Jason Denayer, who felt a muscle twinge in training during the week and left-back Melvin Bard, who may not have fully recovered from his calf injury. Bruno GuimarĂ£es is back from his one match suspension, served in the 3-2 win at Strasbourg last weekend, whilst midfielder Maxence Caqueret and reserve goalkeeper Julian Pollersbeck return from their Covid-19 isolations.

It is the first time since the close of the transfer window that coach Rudi Garcia has a near full-strength squad from which to choose, so we should start to get an idea of his intended first eleven for the remainder of the season, and how the new arrivals will fit into it. The main intrigue surrounds the shape of the midfield and who will get the nod now that GuimarĂ£es, Caqueret, Aouar, Thiago Mendes, Jean Lucas and new signing Lucas Paqueta are all in contention for central midfield berths.

Whatever the selection, the pressure is on for Lyon to beat Monaco and register consecutive wins for the first time this season after a disappointing start to the campaign. In the last meeting between the two sides, Lyon ran out 3-0 winners in the principality in the first match of last season. The return fixture at the Groupama Stadium never took place due to the abandonment of the end of the Ligue 1 season caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, so Monaco’s last visit dates back to December 2018, when they were also beaten 3-0 in a Ligue 1 fixture.

Monaco currently sit one place and one point above Lyon in the Ligue 1 table, but they have hit poor form in their last few matches after a draw and two wins in their first three outings. Their two most recent away trips saw them lose at Rennes and Brest and they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Montpellier last time out, so they may be there for the taking.