Monaco’s grasp on a top five slot and the corresponding European spot has been lost as a result of a three matches losing streak (D1, L2). As a result, they reach the last day of Ligue 1 without control over their destiny. All Monaco can do to secure a spot in Europe for the upcoming season is defeat Toulouse and hope Rennes or Lille drop points, as the goal differential between fifth placed Monaco and Rennes is realistically insurmountable.
Prior to this match, the principality club will need to uphold their end of the agreement, but that is by no means guaranteed given that the hosts have gone almost three hours without scoring at home in league action. Even yet, with a nearly flawless home league record (W6, L1) and an average of 3.29 goals per match in those games against teams ranked 13th or worse, you’d anticipate that streak to come to an end here.
Toulouse, who are now in 13th place and have already clinched a spot in Europe for the upcoming campaign, are the team standing in their way. Four important players will leave for free after this game as the club looks to favor a data driven strategy to recruitment, but one worrying data trend is that Toulouse are winless in five while failing to score in four of those games (D4, L1). This game will be the end of an era for Toulouse.
Playing away from home might help Toulouse finish strong. The team is presently on a run of four straight league away victories (W2, D2) and is in the midst of their greatest run of away shutouts in the top tier since a similar three games span back in 2012. Toulouse hasn’t kept four straight away clean sheets since Ligue 1 switched to an 18 teams system back in 1997, and given that they’ve given up more than three goals per game on average over their last five away H2Hs (L5), history suggests that record won’t be achieved this weekend.
Wissam of Monaco After scoring more than once in three of his previous six scoring league matches, Ben Yedder is two goals away from making it three consecutive Ligue 1 seasons with 20 and goals. He could accomplish this milestone tonight. Stijn Spierings, the captain of Toulouse, said an emotional farewell to the home crowd in his last outing. This will be his final game for the club. “It’s hard for me to cry; I’m not used to it. Having arrived here as a child, I am now a father. I greatly appreciate it.
Malang Sarr, a loan player from Chelsea, will miss Monaco’s final game due to injury, while Myron Boadu, a Dutch forward, is anticipated to miss Saturday’s game as well after missing the previous two.
Wissam Ben Yedder, who has scored 24 goals and provided seven assists in all competitions this season, will remain the home team’s lone striker, with young sensation Eliesse Ben Seghir acting in support.
Guillermo Maripan and Axel Disasi are anticipated to resume their center-back pairing at the other end of the field, and Alexander Nubel, who is on loan from Bayern Munich, will remain in goal.
Toulouse, in contrast, have not reported any new injuries ahead of the match on Saturday, while English forward Rhys Healey is still out with a damaged ACL.
Thijs Dallinga, who has scored 18 goals this season, will be the team’s leading scorer, and Zakaria Aboukhlal will look to add to his 14 goals and five assists.
Branco van den Boomen, a midfielder who is headed to Ajax after recording six goals and 13 assists this season, is anticipated to play his final match for the team. Stijn Spierings is set to replace his countryman in the middle of the park.
Monaco Possible starting lineup
Nubel, Aguilar, Disasi, Maripan, Jakobs, Vanderson, Fofana, Camara, Golovin, Ben Seghir and Ben Yedder.
Toulouse possible starting lineup
Dupe, Desler, Rouault, Nicolaisen, Suazo, Spierings, Van den Boomen, Ratao, Dejaegere, Aboukhlal and Dallinga.
We predict: Monaco 3-1 Toulouse
Monaco, who are now outside the top five on goal differential, should improve their chances of playing in Europe with a win over Toulouse, who have nothing left to play for on the final day of the regular season.