France Ligue 1 – Monaco v Caen Preview (22/12/16)

Monaco preview

  • Defeat at home to Lyon on Sunday night ended a really good run of results and ensured they won't be top of the table heading into the winter break.
  • Monaco had been excellent at home prior to the Lyon loss. Their stats here read 7-1-1 with a goal difference of +22.
  • The south coast club have been playing some highly impressive football this season and the only real question mark is if the OL result proves to be a minor blip or something which carries over into this fixture.
  • Left back Benjamin Mendy is suspended but everyone else is available. The squad is in excellent condition.

Caen preview

  • Just like Monaco, their only absence is left back Emmanuel Imorou who has been out of action for a while now. Everyone else of significance is fully available and the exact same squad that beat Metz 3-0 on Sunday is retained.
  • That victory moved them out of the relegation zone and was a much needed boost. Caen have generally struggled this season and have one of the worst defensive records in the league.
  • The visitors also have the worst road record in Ligue 1. They've lost 7 out of 8 contests with the only point obtained a 0-0 draw at Bordeaux. Those are pretty horrific stats.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • A whopping 10/12 Monaco wins this season have been by at least a two goal margin. The expectation is that they win, and win well tonight to get back on track.
  • The bookies are all aware of this fact, offering a measly -1.75 handicap. For this bet to fully win then Monaco would have to prevail by three clear goals. This is something that’s quite possible with this team, but taking these sort of handicaps isn’t normally recommended in French football.
  • Likewise, a massive 3.25 goal line is offered. This has every chance of covering when you consider Monaco’s offensive juggernaut. Caen might also hit the back of the net if they come here looking to attack.
  • This is a tough one. I think Monaco should win fairly easily but I’m not sure I’m happy to take such a big handicap or goal line. The value simply isn’t there.
  • All Monaco will want to do is win. Perhaps Sunday’s loss might have knocked them back a little bit too. So I’ll play it safe and not get involved, but the logical outcome is a convincing home win.

Prediction: 3-1

Recommended bet: None