Philippe Clement’s side opened their Europa League campaign with a 1-0 success away to Red Star Belgrade in midweek, while the visitors lost 3-1 to Lorient in league action.
Only four days after coming up with the game-winning goal against Nice in Ligue 1, Breel Embolo made lightning strike twice for Monaco, who were indebted to the 25-year-old’s spot kick in a 1-0 success on Red Star Belgrade’s turf.
After Wissam Ben Yedder had failed to fire, Embolo took just eight minutes to tally his first European goal of the season – converting a penalty which was won by Aleksandr Golovin – as Monaco kicked off Group H in perfect fashion.
Les Monegasques had previously failed to win in five straight matches continentally and domestically before returning to form with those 1-0 successes over Nice and Red Star, and Clement’s switch to a three-man backline is seemingly paying dividends on the defensive front.
Collecting eight points from a possible 18 means that Monaco are smack-bang in the middle of the Ligue 1 table in 10th place, but to say that the hosts are returning to home comforts this weekend would not be accurate in the slightest.
Indeed, Clement’s side have posted two draws and two defeats at the Stade Louis II in all competitions this term – losing successive games to Lens and Troyes last month while conceding four goals each time last month – but their visitors suffered a dismal away day in midweek.
A dejected-looking Peter Bosz admitted that he wanted to make as many as eight half-time changes during his side’s horror show against Lorient, who ended Les Gones’ stellar start to the new term via a 3-1 success in Wednesday’s rearranged fixture.
After the gameweek two clash was initially postponed due to an unplayable pitch during an August heatwave, Enzo Le Fee, Terem Moffi and Dango Ouattara all made the net ripple at the Stade du Moustoir, where Alexandre Lacazette had briefly restored parity for Les Gones.
Lyon felt the full force of Bosz’s frustration after seeing their unbeaten streak come to an end with a whimper, but a total of 13 points from a possible 18 means that the visitors are still sitting pretty in fourth place at the time of writing.
However, while Lyon have been perfect at the Groupama Stadium this term – winning four from four – they have only taken one point from their first two away games of the new season, as well as keeping just one clean sheet from six thus far.
Lyon had prevailed in four straight Ligue 1 fixtures with Monaco before falling to a 2-0 defeat at the Stade Louis II back in February, and not since October 2015 have the two French powerhouses played out a stalemate in the top flight.
Monaco welcomed centre-back Guillermo Maripan back to the fold in midweek after he served a domestic suspension in the win over Nice, but Clement’s attacking options have been restricted by injuries to Kevin Volland, Willem Geubbels and Myron Boadu.
Alterations can be expected either way given the quick turnaround, as Embolo prepares to displace Ben Yedder at the tip of the attack, while Krepin Diatta should be in with a strong chance of coming in for Takumi Minamino.
Jean Lucas could provide some fresh legs in the engine room at the expense of new signing Mohamed Camara, who played the full 90 on Thursday night while Youssouf Fofana was hooked before the hour mark.
As for Lyon, Bosz has been handed a slight silver lining since the defeat to Lorient, as Jerome Boateng and Houssem Aouar are both back in training, leaving Julian Pollersbeck as the visitors’ only absentee.
Boateng in particular should be in with a strong chance of starting this one, as Thiago Mendes was at fault for Lorient’s second goal in midweek before being taken off at half time alongside Romain Faivre and Johann Lepenant.
Corentin Tolisso, Rayan Cherki and Moussa Dembele are also among those seeking to take advantage of their teammates’ midweek lapses to make the first XI on Sunday, but Lacazette, Karl Toko Ekambi and Tete can all expect to start up front again.
Monaco possible starting lineup:
Nubel; Disasi, Badiashile, Maripan; Aguilar, Fofana, Lucas, Henrique; Diatta, Embolo, Golovin
Lyon possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Gusto, Boateng, Lukeba, Tagliafico; Aouar, Tolisso, Caqueret; Tete, Lacazette, Toko Ekambi