L’ours have dropped consecutive Ligue 1 fixtures by a 1-0 score, falling two points below the relegation line, while les Monegasques have dropped to fourth in the table following a 1-0 defeat at home to Reims.
In their first top-flight campaign since 2013-14, a lack of quality has repeatedly held Ajaccio back, as they have failed to score in 14 domestic encounters this season.
After 27 games, they are the lowest-scoring team in Ligue 1 with just 20 goals, while they have struggled to prevent them away from home, losing their last three road games in this competition by a combined score of 7-0.
That is as many goals as they allowed in their previous fixture with Monaco, a side they have not beaten on home soil in this competition since the 2005-06 campaign (1-0).
On those rare occasions in which Olivier Pantaloni‘s men have found the back of the net this season, the final result has usually gone their way, with Ajaccio winning three of its last four league fixtures when scoring, though that lone defeat was the lopsided one at Monaco in mid-January.
Scoring at Stade Francois Coty has proven to be exceedingly difficult for them as l’ours are the only side in the French top-flight this season who have yet to reach the double-digit mark for goals on home soil (nine).
Their next few matches could determine whether or not they remain in Ligue 1 beyond this season, with three of the following four games for Ajaccio coming against Auxerre, Strasbourg and Brest, three clubs who are only two points above l’ours heading into this weekend’s action.
A string of poor results domestically has transformed Monaco from a team contending for a Champions League place to one barely holding onto a place in Europe next season.
That is how quickly things can change at the top of the table as Philippe Clement has seen his team go winless in three straight Ligue 1 encounters, the second-longest run without a victory for them this season.
Monaco have lost two of their last three top-flight encounters, as many as they had suffered in their previous 19 matches in Ligue 1.
Given that two of those losses came at Stade Louis II, going on the road might do this team some good, with Monaco unbeaten in their last nine away fixtures in all competitions.
Les Monegasques have failed to score in two of their last three domestic affairs, though they have not been shut out in successive top-flight contests since October-November 2021.
They are a perfect 3-0 versus newly-promoted sides this season and have not lost to a French club making their return to Ligue 1 since falling 3-0 at home to Lens in December 2020.
Ajaccio Ligue 1 form:
Monaco Ligue 1 form:
Monaco form (all competitions):
On Sunday, Ajaccio will be missing Youssouf Kone, who is still recovering from an ankle sprain, Thomas Mangani remains out with sore ribs, Vincent Marchetti is nursing a hamstring strain and Romain Hamouma continues to recover from his muscle injury.
Last Sunday, Pantaloni made two changes to his starting 11 in their defeat to Montpellier (1-0), with Ismael Diallo taking the place of Mickael Alphonse along the backline, while Moussa Djitte began in the attack for the first time since joining them on loan from Austin FC in late January with Hamouma relegated to the bench.
The last time this team found the back of the net in this competition, it was their top two goalscorers this season, Youcef Belaili and Mounaim El Idrissy, who struck six minutes apart in a 2-1 victory at home to Troyes in late February.
Gelson Martins has missed back-to-back games for Monaco due to a groin injury, Kevin Volland is out with broken ribs, Guillermo Maripan was on the bench for the first time since suffering a knee injury and Vanderson made his first appearance since hurting his knee in early February, replacing Krepin Diatta to begin the second half last week.
Wissam Ben Yedder had the only two goals for les Monegasques in their previous road fixture versus Troyes, as he is currently in a three-way tie for second in Ligue 1 goals this season alongside Alexandre Lacazette and Folarin Balogun (16).
Ajaccio possible starting lineup:
Leroy; Alphonse, Vidal, Avinel, Diallo; Bayala, Barreto, Coutadeur, Belaili; El Idrissy, Soumano
Monaco possible starting lineup:
Nubel; Vanderson, Disasi, Sarr, Henrique; Camara; Diatta, Matazo, Golovin; Ben Yedder, Embolo
We say: Ajaccio 0-2 Monaco
The Monaco backline seems to be getting healthier, while Ajaccio have not given their fans much to cheer about in the attack throughout the campaign.
Les Monegasques have been more organised and compact away from home, and we expect them to be on the front foot against the Corsicans, who have not created many scoring opportunities at Stade Francois Coty.
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