The first match of the new year is already here for AS Monaco! The Rouge et Blanc are heading to Lorient this Wednesday to play at the Stade du Moustoir (7 p.m., behind closed doors), as part of the 18th Matchday in Ligue 1.
A battle for survival
With a win and a draw in their last four matches, the Breton club is performing better than at the start of the season. Les Merlus recorded a victory against Nîmes (3-0) then had two defeats against Paris (2-0) and Rennes (0-3), before getting a draw in Nice before the holiday break (2-2). The objective of survival will be the main mission for Christophe Pelissier, the manager of FCL since May 29, 2019 and the coach who has guided the Breton club into the top flight this season.
Lorient has won twice at home in the league this season, enough to be above the relegation zone but not the play-off place in the table. Currently in 18th place, Lorient can count on former Monégasque Paul Nardi to defend the Breton goal. From an attacking point of view, the club’s record signing is none other than the top scorer last year in Ligue 2, Adrian Grbic, who will have to make good on all the hopes placed on him in 2021. The Austrian striker currently has just three goals in 16 games.
— FC LORIENT 🐟 (@FCLorient) January 4, 2021
An experienced team
Despite their promoted status, the Lorient team has plenty of some experienced players. Of note in particular are Jérémy Morel and Fabien Lemoine, who have played more than 700 Ligue 1 matches between them or Thomas Monconduit, who has already worked under Christiphe Pelissier when he was manager of SC Amiens. The attack relies on the team’s danger man so far, the club’s top scorer this season, winger Yoane Wissa.
With five goals to his credit, he allowed Lorient to level against Strasbourg before orchestrating their comeback win. He also did the same against Lyon, against whom he found the net in a draw when hosting the men of Rudi Garcia, who are currently leaders of Ligue 1. His good start to the season has even allowed him to be called up for the national team of DR Congo. Now seated in 18th place, the Bretons are therefore on a mission to maintain their top flight status and will need to pick up the points at home.
AS Monaco press conference extracts:
Read the pre-match press conference from Niko Kovac.
Read Aurélien Tchouaméni‘s pre-match press conference.
FC Lorient – AS Monaco by the numbers…
- 22: Matches in Ligue 1 against Lorient, with 12 wins for AS Monaco, 5 draws and 5 losses (35 goals scored, 20 conceded).
- 11: Number of matches played at the Stade du Moustoir, totaling 4 AS Monaco wins 4 draws, and 3 losses (15 scored, 12 conceded).
- 3-0: On November 18, 2016, the team’s last trip to Lorient, the Monegasques had their biggest win against Les Merlus. Thomas Lemar, Falcao and Gabriel Boschilia were the scorers that day.
- 10: AS Monaco have not lost any of their previous 10 first matches of a calendar year in Ligue 1 (3 wins, 7 draws). Their last defeat dates back to a January 10, 2009 loss against Nantes (1-2).
- 4: AS Monaco have won four of their last five matches against Lorient in Ligue 1 (4 wins, 1 draw).
- 3: Lorient have lost their last 3 Ligue 1 matches against Monaco without scoring a goal, their worst streak against Monaco in the top flight.