AS Monaco manager Philippe Clement is facing a defensive headache ahead of Sunday’s Ligue 1 fixture against Lille OSC – a direct rival for the European places.
Malang Sarr remains out for Les Monégasques and has now been out for many weeks. No return date has been given for his return, and it looks increasingly likely that he won’t play for the Principality club again ahead of a return to parent club Chelsea at the end of the season.
Guillermo Maripán is suspended for the tie, whilst Chrislain Matsima and Yllan Okou are both doubts. Calls on their fitness will be made tomorrow. Benoît Badiashile was, of course, sold to Chelsea in the January transfer window, leaving Axel Disasi as the only recognised first-team centre-back.
Ritchy Valme, who recently won the Coupe Gambardella with Monaco’s Academy, could be called in to fill the void, and has begun training with the first team in recent weeks, although he is yet to make his professional debut. Valme did, however, play 90 minutes for the Groupe Élite against Braga on Thursday. Caio Henrique and Ruben Aguilar have the possibility of playing alongside Disasi in a makeshift back-three.
Monaco’s woes don’t stop there. Speaking at Friday’s press conference, attended by Get French Football News, Clement said that Mohamed Camara and Aleksandr Golovin were also doubts. In more positive news, Breel Embolo has returned to collective training but is yet to complete a full session. His fitness will also be evaluated on Saturday.
Monaco could all but seal Europa League qualification with a victory over Lille, but equally, Les Dogues could cut the gap to just two points.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle