Lens hosts Monaco in the Coupe de France 1/8 finals. The match will be played on Sunday, January 30th at Stade Bollaert-Delelis (Lens)
Franck Heise’s team started the fight in the Coupe de France from the 1/32 finals. Lens eliminated Stade Poitevin (0-1) and Lille (2-2 and 4-3 on penalties). The Blood and Gold had a good segment in January. They didn’t lose in three matches in a row. In addition to success in the cup match against Lille, Lens achieved victories over Rennes (1-0) and Saint-Étienne (2-1) in Ligue 1. On January 22, Heise’s men suffered their first defeat this year, failing to cope with Marseille at home (0-2). The hosts conceded a goal in each of the halves and showed a faded game in the attack.
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Monaco also started their way in the French Cup from the 1/32 finals. In two previous stages, the Monegasques knocked out Red Star (0-2) and Quevilly Rouen (1-3). The club’s management fired head coach Niko Kovac in early January. He was replaced by a former manager of Club Brugge KV, Philippe Clement, who made his debut at the new club with a draw against Nantes (0-0) and a victory over Clermont (4-0). On January 23, the Monegasques suffered their first defeat under the new coach, losing to Montpellier away (3-2). The visitors found themselves in a difficult situation by the 32nd minute, when they were losing 2-0. Goals by Wissam Ben Yedder and Wanderson helped to equalize, but in the 91st minute, the Red-and-Whites missed Montpellier’s attack, which ended with another conceded goal.
In the previous six head-to-head matches, at least one side didn’t score, but the upcoming game in Lens may break this streak. Lens and Monaco do not hesitate to attack with large forces, so it is likely that the match will turn into a competition of attacking lines. The Blood and Gold didn’t score in only out of ten previous official matches, and the match against Montpellier once again demonstrated that the defense of the Monegasques is far from perfect. Monaco players, who have scored in five of the last six official matches, must also upset the goalkeeper of Lens.