Preview: Monaco vs. Toulouse

Preview: Monaco vs. Toulouse

Monaco will be looking to break back into the European places when they host Toulouse in the final round of Ligue 1 fixtures on Saturday.

The Monegasques find themselves outside the top five on goal difference, while Toulouse are well clear of relegation trouble thanks to a positive comeback campaign in the top flight.

Last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at European rivals Rennes saw Monaco drop out of the top five for the first time since November, while Les Rennais leapfrogged Philippe Clement’s side in the Ligue 1 table after notching a third successive victory.

The Red and Whites have now failed to win any of their previous three matches, with a goalless draw against Lille and a 3-1 defeat to Lyon preceding the loss to Rennes, which was also Monaco’s fourth defeat in six outings.

A run of nine victories in 12 games between October and February saw Monaco climb to third in the standings, while Clement’s men also enjoyed a nine-match unbeaten streak after the World Cup break, securing seven wins during that period.

Since then, however, the Monegasques have endured an inconsistent spell, recording four wins, three draws and six losses to end their Champions League dreams and cast serious doubt over their top-five prospects.

Granted, Monaco could still end the campaign in fourth place if they beat Toulouse and both Lille and Rennes fail to win on the final day, but they could also miss out on European football altogether if Saturday’s events go against them.

By contrast, Toulouse have nothing to play for on the final day of the season, as last year’s Ligue 2 champions find themselves in 13th place – 12 points clear of the relegation zone – having enjoyed an impressive return to top-flight action.

In addition to cementing their status as a competitive Ligue 1 team, Philippe Montanier’s side clinched the Coupe de France crown back in April, thrashing Nantes 5-1 in the final thanks to braces from Logan Costa and Thijs Dallinga.

That said, Toulouse have failed to win any of their five matches since the Coupe de France triumph, suffering a 1-0 defeat to Champions League-bound Lens before recording four consecutive draws.

After registering three goalless stalemates against Ajaccio, Nantes and Nice, Le Tefece played out a 1-1 draw with Auxerre last weekend, despite racking up 10 shots while enjoying 61% possession on home soil.

Although Toulouse have managed to win just two of their previous 10 league outings, they have avoided defeat in each of their last four away games, so they will be confident of finishing an already successful campaign on a high.

Monaco Ligue 1 form:

Toulouse Ligue 1 form:

Toulouse form (all competitions):

We say: Monaco 3-1 Toulouse
Sitting outside the top five on goal difference, Monaco should strengthen their bid for European football with a relatively comfortable victory over Toulouse, who have nothing to play for on the final day of the season.

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