Monaco host Ferencvaros in Group H of the Europa League on Thursday, with both teams looking to build on victories last week.
Monaco won 1-0 away to Red Star Belgrade, while Ferencvaros recorded an impressive 3-2 win against Trabzonspor despite playing with 10 men for most of the match.
Having dropped down from the Champions League after losing 4-3 on aggregate to PSV Eindhoven during the qualifying rounds, Monaco may feel capable of making a mark on the Europa League this season.
Although they have plenty of travelling to do for their away games, they have been handed a relatively comfortable group on paper, especially if they can beat their forthcoming opponents to move onto six points from two matches.
Their win in Serbia last week came courtesy of Breel Embolo’s 74th-minute penalty, and it was an impressive victory at a somewhat intimating ground, which many visiting teams have found difficult to play at in the past.
Phillipe Clement’s side recorded their third successive victory by beating Lyon 2-1 at Stade Louis II in Ligue 1 on Sunday, and they will feel confident of extending that to four matches in a row on Thursday.
Ferencvaros, meanwhile, gave themselves a great chance of progressing beyond the group stage of any European competition for the first time in their history with a superb 3-2 win against Trabzonspor at Groupama Arena last week.
After Tokmac Nguen had provided the hosts with a fifth-minute lead, Eldar Civic looked to have blown his side’s chances of gaining a win by being sent off little more than 10 minutes later, but Everton-linked Adama Traore had other ideas as he doubled the Hungarian champions’ lead.
Maxi Gomez pulled one back six minutes before the break, but Nguen’s penalty restored Ferencvaros’ two-goal lead heading into the half-time interval. Umut Bozok’s late strike ensured a nervy finish for the hosts, but they held onto a vital victory.
Having won four successive league titles, former Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov will be confident of guiding his side to a modern slice of history should they manage to achieve a top two finish in Group H, with Thursday’s trip to Monaco undoubtedly representing their toughest fixture.
Monaco Europa League form:
Monaco form (all competitions):
Ferencvaros Europa League form:
Ferencvaros form (all competitions):
We say: Monaco 3-1 Ferencvaros
Ferencvaros do carry some attacking threat through their pacey wide forwards, but we expect Monaco to have too much for them on Thursday.
It could be an open, entertaining encounter between two sides who can play with a degree of freedom having both picked up a win in their opening match.