Friday 8 February 2013

Provence favourites for meeting with Monaco

2012 VIVA World Cup semi-finalists Provence will take on fellow N.F.-Board members Monaco in a pre-Valentine’s Day derby next Wednesday (13th) in the French commune of Saint-Zacharie. The teams have met before in 2008 in Cap d’Ail and Provence’s 3-2 win marked their 1st at international level.

Last 4...VIVA World Cup semi-finalists Provence
The hosts were the surprise package at the recent VIVA in Kurdistan and will be favourites to overpower the tiny principality. Since their loss to Zanzibar in June’s 3rd-place VIVA match Provence have played one game, a November friendly against 6th-tier club side UGA Ardziv. They won 2-1 with the core of the VIVA squad featuring, which is likely to be the case against Monaco. Omar Mdahoma is set to captain the side which has an impressive backline including Kévin Barnel and Benoit Lescoualch. They are most powerful going forward however and should be more than capable of breaking down Monaco. Christophe Copel was joint top-scorer in Kurdistan and will be comfortable at this level. Support coming from Nicolas Ferrero will help, and should Yanis and Samir Abbes feature then the attack is only strengthened. 

Rarity...Monaco before their win over club side Espoir
Since the aforementioned 3-2 loss to Provence in 2008 the Monégasque have played just 3 internationals after they were regulars on the non-FIFA scene in the mid-00’s. The team is much-changed since then with many of the old guard no longer involved. Vice-captain Olivier El Missouri is an important figure as demonstrated in his sides 7-4 win over club side Espoir Bastias on January 26th, as well as his role in the narrow 2-1 loss to Raetia in October. Monaco’s last international win was against Vatican City in May 2011 when record-scorer Olivier Lechner notched a brace. Julien Sirio should feature in a backline that misses the goalkeeping presence of Manuel Vallaurio, formerly of AS Monaco, who hasn’t played for the national team since 2008. 

The Fédération Monegasque de Football has fewer than 100 players to select it’s side from and should Provence field their full side then it’s likely they’ll prove too much. Kick-off is at 18:00 local time (17:00 U.K.) and updates will be available from us as soon as we get them.

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