France Ligue 1 – Monaco v PSG Preview (28/8/16)

ASM-PSG

Monaco preview

The south coast club should be really buoyed by their Champions League victory against Villarreal in midweek. This now means they are into the CL group stage, quite impressive when many people suggested that Villarreal were the favourites in that tie. Perhaps Monaco along with Lyon are the only team who could potentially beat PSG to the Ligue 1 title, so it goes without saying they need to beat them right tonight and lay a marker on the champions. Les Monegasques don’t have a bad record against the capital club in the ‘QSG’ era, so I don’t think they’ll fazed too much here. It’s been a good five days since their CL match so recovery shouldn’t be an issue. There’s a few injuries here and there within the squad with the most notable absentee being striker Falcao.

PSG preview

The defending champions have a 100% record, but it’s fair to say they haven't looked that convincing yet under Unai Emery. They laboured to a -10 win against Bastia, and whilst the 4-0 success facing Metz was relatively comfortable, there was a 10-15 min spell when Metz actually created some good chances against them. This is the first really big game for Emery so it’ll be interesting to see how their do. Key defending Thiago Silva is still injured, whilst new signing Jese recovers from an appendicitis operation. I would expect an XI similar to the one which beat Metz, although maybe Hateem Ben Arfa might get the nod upfront instead of Edinson Cavani.

Conclusion & betting analysis

PSG are the favourites on a -0.75 handicap tonight. Whether that’s fair or not I’m not totally sure. The visitors are easily the best side in France but they are perhaps facing their closest rival and a team which has to be respected. Monaco are Champions League team who just beat off Villarreal over two legs and their confidence is really high. We’ve yet to see PSG in a big game under Emery, so there are a few too many doubts for my liking. Monaco are always well coached by Leonardo Jardim and he’ll come up with a good tactical gameplan tonight. Monaco beat PSG in Paris towards the end of last season, and in the previous campaign Jardim has managed to get results against them. The over/under line is set at 2.5 and I’m really not sure what’s going to happen here. Anything is possible and maybe both teams will cancel each other out. I’m not going to bet on the game, just watch.

Prediction: 1-1
Recommended bet: None