France Ligue 1 – Monaco v Nice Preview (4/2/17)

Monaco preview

  • A late Bernardo Silva equaliser away to PSG last weekend means they take plenty of momentum into this top of the table clash.
  • Monaco have played the best football in Ligue 1 this season and at times their offense is irresistible.
  • Shockingly blew a 3-0 lead in the Coupe de France midweek facing lower ligue opposition but ultimately prevailed 5-4 after extra time.
  • Playing twice in a week hasn’t been an issue for this Monaco side though and they regularly rotate things around. They have no significant absences for today’s game.

Nice preview

  • A hard fought 3-1 home win against Guingamp last week snapped a run of three straight draws and enabled them to return to the top of the table, joint with Monaco.
  • Nice have astonishingly only lost one game all season but will do very well to keep that record going here. Their away record isn’t as strong as their rivals at the top but they still have to be greatly respected.
  • Squad condition is good ahead of this match, boosted by the return of midfield playmaker Younes Belhanda who makes his first appearance in the squad since the winter break.
  • Fullback Ricardo is their only notable absentee. New January signings Mounir Obbadi & Bassem Srafi aren’t yet ready for action and will have to wait for their respective debuts.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • What a matchup! It’s a battle between the top two teams in the league, both of whom are situated on exactly the same number of points. Just to add further spice to the occasion, it’s a south coast derby between two fierce rivals.
  • It’s also a clash between the best offense and best defence in Ligue 1. Monaco’s goalscoring abilities have been ridiculous this year, netting a massive 65 times! Nice have only conceded 15 goals which is a superb record.
  • In the early meeting between the two sides, Nice shockingly prevailed 4-0. I do feel that they are a bad matchup for Monaco. Nice are likely to sit back, defend deep and frustrate them for as long as possible.
  • The visitors themselves will have great counter attacking potential though and can’t be underestimated in the final third. Monaco are known for leaving holes and gaps, something which Nice could exploit.
  • I think Monaco on a -1 asian handicap is about fair. They are definitely the better team and by a decent margin too. However, Nice could keep things close for a variety of reasons. A home victory by a one goal margin is a strong possibility
  • The goal line is st between 2.75 and 3, which seems too high. If Nice defend in numbers and play for a draw then this could turn into a tight contest.
  • Overall, I don’t personally see any great betting potential. I think both lines will possibly push and I’m leaning towards a 2-1 scoreline.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

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