After failing to win their last two league matches against Brest and Montpellier, AS Monaco travel to the Groupama Stadium to face Olympique Lyon desperate for all three points.
While both teams have been solid on the defensive end, it’s going forward where they haven’t kicked into gear, with both only scoring 10 goals from their seven league matches.
In the case of Monaco, taking their chances has been a real issue, especially considering they’ve unleashed the third most shots per game in the division with 15.7. Factor in that Les Monegasques have enjoyed the third highest average possession figures, on 57.8%, and it’s clear they need to be more effective at turning their dominance into goals.
However, once Kevin Volland fully integrates and further develops his relationships with the likes of Wissam Ben Yedder, Gelson Martins and the currently injured Aleksandr Golovin, it’ll be expected Monaco will be a far greater force.
Indeed, Niko Kovac touched on the need to improve in front of goal in his pre match press conference while also noting how pleased he is overall with his team. “Regarding the system, the players have understood the way we play, especially in defense, we have conceded very few chances in recent matches, so there is no reason to change anything. And offensively we are working in training to be more clinical in attack,” he explained.
“On our side we are trying to be compact, but it is especially at the attacking level that we need to progress and create more chances to be able to score. I put my team above all, we’ve had so much possession, but now we have to find solutions to put the ball in the net. We worked really well this week in training, I saw some really good things.”
In what looms as a fascinating clash between two of Ligue 1’s giants, Sunday night’s clash will be captivating viewing, as Monaco hope to build on their early promise under Kovac to secure a crucial win.
All in all, with both outfits struggling going forward, it appears the outcome will heavily hinge on which team can be more clinical at converting their chances into goals.
Well aware of this, Kovac will be hoping all the positive work done by his troops in training bears fruit come Sunday night.