The first French Ligue 1 game of the season will see Monaco welcome Olympique Lyon on Friday night in a highly anticipated match. Monaco will want to make a positive start given last season’s struggles, while Lyon, who are under new management, are attempting to challenge for the title this time. Here’s the Big Game Focus. Bet on Ligue 1 here.
Monaco missed relegation by a whisker last season. Last season was a poor one by their standards and they almost went down for the first time since 2011.
They narrowly stayed up by a margin of two points and decided to stick by manager Leonardo Jardim, who won them the league title in the 2016/2017 season. Now, Jardim and the team will be looking to emulate that season but the gap has now widened.
Seven-time league winners Lyon have had a busy summer. A new coach, new sporting director and departures mean Lyon will have new faces when they walk out of the Stade Louis II on Friday night.
They lost important players in Tanguy Ndombélé, Nabil Fekir and Ferland Mendy but have replenished their squad with the addition of Joachim Andersen, Youssouf Koné, Jean Lucas and Thiago Mendes. On paper, they look solid but Friday will tell if they can adequately fill the void.
Out of the last five meetings between these two, Monaco has won twice, with both of those wins coming from home. Lyon have also had a poor pre-season, losing four out of five matches which should be a big worry heading to Friday. In the last four friendly games, Monaco have won three and drawn one a run which has given them confidence. For that reason, you can back a Home Double Chance at odds of 1.55.
Five of the last six matches between these two giants have seen three or more goals scored. Therefore, odds of 1.90 for Over 2.5 Goals look attractive.
Four of the last six meetings between Monaco and Lyon have seen both teams find the back of the net. You can back Both Teams to Score at odds of 1.70.
Radamel Falcao has been the subject of transfer speculation this summer but he should start up front alongside Aleksandr Golovin and Gelson Martins.
With the departure of Ndombele, Mendy and Fekir, new arrivals Kone and Mendes should be given the nod.
Monaco: Lecomte, Sidibe, Glik, Jemerson, Ballo-Toure, Fabregas, Traore, Martins, Golovin, Rony Lopes, Falcao
Lyon: Lopes, Dubois, Marcelo, Denayer, Marcal, Mendes, Aouar, Tousart, Depay, Dembele, Traore