France Ligue 1 – PSG v Monaco Preview (29/1/17)

PSG preview

  • The defending champions have started 2017 with 4/4 wins in all competitions. They look to have some of their confidence and swagger back.
  • For all their problems this season, nobody has yet beaten them at Le Parc des Princes. They’ve kept 8 out of 10 clean sheets in front of their own fans.
  • Serge Aurier only just came back from the African Nations cup so won’t feature. Midfielder Marco Verratti is injured and they’ll miss his tenacity.
  • Everyone else that matters is effectively available. New signing from Benfica, Goncalo Guedes is included in the squad and could make his debut.
  • A win would put them back on level terms with Monaco so the prize is big.

Monaco preview

  • A 100% start to the year has seen them move top of the table, capitalising upon Nice’s dropped points. Victory today would guarantee them a six point gap on PSG which would be crucial.
  • Monaco have played the best football out of anyone in Ligue 1 this season and their offensive strength can’t be underestimated. They have some fantastic playmakers and strikers in red hot form.
  • All season long they've been positive and I don’t think much will change here. It would be a mistake to become too timid and sit on the back foot and they know it.
  • Squad condition is perfect with only a couple of bench players still on African Nations duty. All of their big guns are ready and raring to go.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Both teams progressed in the midweek Coupe de la Ligue semi finals and will now meet in Lyon to contend the first piece of silverware at the start of April.
  • The result of this match could go a long way towards deciding the Ligue 1 crown. Monaco won the first meeting 3-1 and don’t have a bad record at this stadium in recent years.
  • Monaco have looked the better outfit in general, although PSG have improved since the start of 2017. Both attack forces are in good form so it’s no surprise to see a goal line priced between 2.75 and 3.
  • I am however surprised to see PSG as 1.55 favourites and priced on a -1 handicap. It’s true they have home advantage, but there's not a lot between these two teams right now.
  • Most sides just come to Paris and offer nothing but Monaco have so many threats going forward. I think their price is a bit of an insult. Leonardo Jardim is a better coach than Unai Emery and will probably have a stronger game plan.
  • I simply have to back Monaco +1. I think they can get something out of this match or at worst stay within a goal of PSG. The hosts aren’t the dominant selves they once were and are under a lot more pressure this season.
  • I think a fair line here would be PSG -0.25 around the 1.80 mark. So in my mind the oddsmakers are nearly 3 lines out! Even if PSG won comfortably I'd have no regrets. I just think they are seriously overrated in this clash.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet 1 unit: Monaco +1 @ 1.94 (minimum odds acceptable 1.70)