|France Ligue 1 2013-14|
| AC Ajaccio
||vs|| AS Monaco
ScheduleSaturday, 26 April 2014 at 15:00 GMT / 16:00 UK / 20:30 IST
VenueStade François Coty (Ajaccio)
Next Saturday, Monaco will travel to the island of Corsica to take on the already relegated Ajaccio for round 35 of Ligue 1, on a match that, in case of a victory, might grant the second place of the table to the Monegasque side, that is if Lille fail to grab the three points from their match against Bordeaux.
Monaco’s latest three consecutive wins at Ligue 1 might have not been enough to erase from the supporters’ minds the team’s elimination from the Coupe de France at the hands of a flimsy Guingamp last week. Last Sunday, Claudio Ranieri’s boys grabbed a narrow win at home against Nice, thanks to an outstanding early goal by Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian forward, who only arrived at Monaco last January during the Winter transfer window, has already helped his new club to clinch some vital points this season.
The Italian manager’s talent has been put into question recently, as well as his relationship with some of the players. A season without winning any single title - after such a ferocious investment - might be the excuse the team’s board needs to sack the experienced Italian head coach at the end of season.
For next Saturday’s clash, Ranieri will still not be able to count on the Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, on the Dutch forward Nacer Barazite and on the French defender Layvin Kurzawa, all sidelined due to injury.
As for Ajaccio, next weekend’s match, as all the remaining games until the end of the season, will only be for glory and self-pride purposes, since the Corsica side has already been relegated to Ligue 2. This was, undoubtedly, a season to forget for Ajaccio. The expectations at the beginning of the season, with the arrival of a new manager (the former Italian forward Fabrizio Ravanelli), soon faded away as he did not resist more than four and half months on the job. From that moment on, Christian Bracconi took the helm of the team but Ajaccio’s luck didn’t changed. After the team’s last weekend defeat against their neighbours and rivals of Bastia, Ajaccio knew that their fate was already decided.
For next Saturday’s home match against Monaco, Christian Bracconi will probably still not be able to count on the Ukrainian forward Yuriy Yakovenko, on the Malian forward Sigamary Diarra, on the French defender Ronald Zubar, and on the French midfielder Benoit Pedretti, all sidelined because of injury.
When both sides met at Stade Louis II last December, Monaco grabbed a narrow 1-0 win thanks to Riviere’s goal during the second half. Although Monaco’s recent performances have been far being brilliant, the team will probably not have many difficulties to defeat a fragilized and demotivated Ajaccio side.
Stats: W-3 L-20 D-11
Recent Form - WDLDL
Stats: W-21 L-4 D-9
Recent Form - DLWWW
Ajaccio (4-2-3-1) - Ochoa - Hengbart - Mostefa - Dielna - Bonnart - Faty - Andre - Lasne - Goncalves - Camara - Tallo
Monaco (4-4-2) - Subasic - Fabinho - R. Carvalho - Abidal - Raggi - Toulalan - J. Moutinho - Obbadi - J. Rodríguez - Berbatov - Riviere