Best Odds: 3/1
Reigning Ligue 1 champions Monaco take on Marseille, one of France’s most famous clubs and the one desperate to get back to where they belong. And with both sides having enjoyed strong start to the new league campaign, we expect to witness a genuine spectacle of football at Stade Louis II.
Monaco produced a major coup by lifting the Ligue 1 trophy last term and also reaching the last four in the Champions League, but the Principality club then faced a much tougher task in the summer transfer window. With top European sides casting admiring glances towards their key players, the French giants had some important decisions to make, and time will tell whether those would prove beneficial in the long run. In spite of cashing in on Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Valere Germain, among others, Monaco opted against spending piles of cash on new players, splashing out only on Youri Tielemans and Terence Kongolo, while making few more bargain signings. Even though they were beaten by PSG to the French Super Cup trophy, the Principality club won their first three league fixtures of the season, defeating Toulouse, Dijon and Metz, although this will be their first high-profile fixture. Having won their last 11 Ligue 1 fixtures at home, Monaco will be hoping for more of the same and their players will be in better shape with Marseille having played in midweek.
Kylian Mbappe remains outside of the group as he nears summer exit, while Boschilia, Traore and N’Doram remain sidelined.
After a number of years during which Marseille couldn’t even get into Europe let alone fight for the Ligue 1 trophy, the club have started making progress and their new and ambitious project is progressing quite nicely. L’OM have now secured their place in the Europa League group stages, while climbing to fifth in the league, but it remains to be seen how they will cope with the busy schedule. Rudi Garcia now has a decent strength in depth after bringing in Valere Germain, Jordan Amavi, Adil Rami, Luiz Gustavo, Clinton N’Jie and Steve Mandanda this summer, and they have so far balanced things well between domestic and European campaigns, although real challenges still lie ahead. After failing to defeat Angers at home, Marseille showed improvement to hammer Domzale 3-0 in midweek, with former Monaco striker Valere Germain adding two more goals to his tally. He has now bagged 5 goals in 4 EL fixtures this term, but he has yet to score his first league goal for the new club. Marseile haven’t been too impressive on Ligue 1 travels in the past, but they are unbeaten in last 7 on the road.
Clinton N’Jie and Dimitri Payet are rated doubtful, whereas Lucas Ocampos is banned after he was sent off against Angers.
Key Factors to Consider
- Monaco won 11 straight Ligue 1 games on home soil
- Marseille unbeaten in last seven league fixtures on the road (W3 D4)
- L’OM conceded mere three goals in those seven games
- Monaco won last 15 matches at Stade Louis II
- Marseille unbeaten since 1 March, when they lost to Monaco
Monaco haven’t really impressed in the opening stages despite winning all three games and we feel they are pretty evenly matched with improving Marseille. A defeat could prove costly for both sides and we expect to see a share of spoils at Stade Louis II.
Best Odds: 3/1
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