France Ligue 1 – Monaco v Lyon Preview (18/12/16)

Monaco preview

  • The south coast side are absolutely flying. For sure, they are playing the best football in France right now and scoring goals at will.  Their total of 53 goals in 17 games is pretty outrageous.
  • Monaco have absolutely thrashed some teams this season. A massive 10 of their 12 victories have been by at least two clear goals and in many cases the margin of victory was even greater. Things don’t look to be slowing down either and they absolutely hammered Rennes 7-0 in the midweek cup.
  • The squad is at full strength with no injuries or suspensions. It’s up to the coach now to pick the right XI for this match. Some tough decisions will have to be made but Monaco are a strong unit and there seems to be a great togetherness here.

Lyon preview

  • The visitors are also at full strength, although midfielder Corentin Tolisso could miss out due to a niggling injury. Lyon have few excuses in this department and coach Bruno Genesio also has some big decisions to make.
  • Lyon have won 5 of their last 6 games and been playing quite well recently. A win here would move them up to fourth place, although beating Monaco on their own patch will be difficult right now.
  • Lyon can be prone to mistakes, especially at the back. They were lucky that their fixture with Metz got abandoned because it looked like they were heading towards defeat. The backline can be really soft when tested by good players and that is my major concern here.
  • Having said that, the visitors have won their last three official away games and if things click well then they have dangerous players like Lacazette who can kill any side.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • This is a real heavyweight clash between two of the best sides in France. Monaco seem unstoppable right now and are capable of putting any side to the sword.
  • It’s understandable that they are favourites around the 1.87 mark. Unfortunately, this price isn’t quite tempting enough to me. Lyon are no mugs and there are a number of ways in which they could cause problems to Monaco tonight.
  • They also have a good recent record against Leonardo Jardim’s men, unbeaten in the last five meetings inside 90 mins. Last season, Lyon hammered them 6-1 so there’s some talk of revenge. But is it possible OL are a slight bogey team for them?
  • The goal line is set between 2.75 and 3, which is really high for French football. This has every chance of ending over, but there are a couple of things that concern me. The first is that Lyon coach Bruno Genesio has suggested they will be more defensively organised.
  • The other problem is that sometimes these heavyweight fixtures simply don’t deliver and both sides are scared of losing, almost over respecting each other.
  • Gun to my head I would back Monaco and over 2.75 goals but I just don’t think the value is there for either. There are enough dangers to prevent both bets from failing and the prices just aren’t where I want them.
  • This should be another good match to watch and it could definitely offer some good in-running potential. However, pre game I’ll stay disciplined and refrain from betting.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None