Having shown some improvement on the slow start to the new league campaign, both Monaco and Lyon will be looking to close the gap behind the leading pack when they square off at Stade Louis II. The Principality club sit two points behind their more illustrious opponents at the moment, so it would appear as though they are under more pressure.
Rather than throwing money away on expensive players, Monaco chiefs decided to get rid of most high earners and turned their attention towards signing talented players at bargain prices and attempting to develop them into world-class footballers. As a result, the Principality club were able to attract some of world’s hottest prospects to Stade Louis II this summer, but it is perfectly clear that coach Leonardo Jardim will need a while to rebuild his squad. Monaco were somewhat unfortunate to be eliminated by Valencia in the Champions League play-offs, while also suffering a 3-0 home loss to PSG early into the season, and it would appear they are still unable to hit the ground running. Draws against Guingamp, Tottenham and Rennes didn’t do much to improve the players’ confidence, whereas the atmosphere in the team was further disrupted as a number of important players returned injured from international duty. As a result, Nabil Dirar, Bernardo Silva and Tiemoue Bakayoko are all unavailable for selection, just like Andrea Raggi and Ricardo Carvalho, who miss out through suspension. Talented midfielder Adama Traore is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after fracturing his ankle.
Unlike Monaco, Lyon did not choose to rely on their own youth academy and inexpensive signings, but it was rather a difficult financial situation that dictated things. Nevertheless, that proved a blessing in disguise as les Gones saw the likes of Maxime Gonalons, Clement Grenier, Samuel Umtiti, Nabil Fekir and Alexandre Lacazette all come through the youth ranks to become some of Europe’s hottest commodities. But, despite keeping hold of all key players and adding Valbuena, Rafael, Darder, Beauvue and Yanga-Mbiwa to their ranks in the summer, Lyon have failed to impress this term. It is fair to say that injuries to Nabil Fekir and Clement Grenier had something to do with this, whereas all the transfer talk appears to have had a negative effect on star striker Alexandre Lacazette, who is still attempting to rediscover his form. As a result, les Gones have been pretty disappointing of late, suffering back to back defeats to Bordeaux and Valencia before finally returning to winning ways against Reims, but they still face a tough task in the Principality. Full-back Rafael has resumed training from a hamstring injury and he could be back in contention, but Henri Bedimo, Nabil Fekir, Clement Grenier, Bakary Kone, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Milan Bisevac continue to miss out and Jeremy Morel is rated doubtful.
Having largely struggled of late, both sides head into the derby game low on spirits and we fully expect this to reflect on the final scoreline. Neither Monaco nor Lyon will be too confident going forward and everything suggests chances will be few and far between at Stade Louis II.
Verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 7/10
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