Monaco play host to PSV Eindhoven on Thursday evening knowing that victory may be enough to book their place in the last 32 of the Europa League.
However, PSV can move to the top of Group B with all three points, and the result of this contest could prove pivotal come the end of the group stages.
At a time when Monaco are currently occupying 10th position in Ligue 1, head coach Nico Kovac will want to prioritise making quick progress up the standings.
Achieving that target could be helped by collecting a third win in Group B, a result which should be enough to earn a spot in the Europa League knockout stages.
On the back of just one defeat from nine games in all competitions, it had appeared that Monaco had turned a corner ahead of the weekend’s clash with Brest.
However, the hosts, who were winless in 11 matches, were good value for their 2-0 triumph, and Kovac knows that progress on the continent might be required to keep him in a job.
Top goalscorer Wissam Ben Yedder has lost his way in the final third, the 32-year-old failing to score in his last four appearances.
Roger Schmidt has found himself under similar pressure at PSV, particularly during September when his side suffered defeats to Feyenoord and Willem II.
The recent 5-0 reverse at domestic rivals Ajax only increased the scrutiny of Schmidt’s future, and the German was left relieved when his side battled back to beat FC Twente by a 5-2 scoreline at the weekend.
With PSV sitting just two points off top spot in the Eredivisie, it is perhaps unfair that Schmidt’s performance as manager is regarded as nothing better than indifferent.
However, this season has felt like a story of missed opportunities, and another setback on Thursday would leave PSV facing the likelihood of dropping into the Europa Conference League.
Monaco Europa League form:
Monaco form (all competitions):
PSV Eindhoven Europa League form:
PSV Eindhoven form (all competitions):
We say: Monaco 1-1 PSV Eindhoven
Both teams will be confident of collecting a result on Thursday, a scenario which should make this an entertaining tussle. Nevertheless, we are not expecting many goals, leading us to predict a low-scoring draw.