Monaco - Lyon - Friday 19.30 GMT
Monaco’s up an down season continued before the international break with a 1-1 draw at home against Rennes.
Before facing Lyon on Friday at the Stade Louis II, Monaco’s home record this season so far is the worst in Ligue 1. It is quite incredible that they still have not won a single league game at home this campaign. Even bottom of the table Ajaccio are doing better than them at home! They are yet to win two matches in a row too which highlights their very difficult season so far.
They can’t even rely on their defensive strength as they are a shadow of the defensive force they were last year when they were the best defence in the Champions League. Instead, they have already conceded 14 goals in nine Ligue 1 games. Only three teams have conceded more than Monaco. It is far too easy for the opposition to score against them.
The return to form of Toulalan could help although he played against Rennes and the team still conceded a lot of chances. Monaco were lucky to even get a draw in that game as Rennes missed a penalty. Monaco have not won in their last three games in all competitions (three draws) and their struggles to score is a big problem too. Leonardo Jardim can’t find a way to resolve the offensive issues. L’ASM are only 10th in the table but are just two points behind Lyon in 6th place and three behind St Etienne in 5th position, their biggest opponents to finish in the Top 3 behind PSG. But Friday’s game is a must win for them.
The good news for Monaco is that Lyon are not doing much better either. They have won only two of their last seven matches in all competitions and have lost two out of their last three.
They have lost Aldo Kalulu, their promising young forward and with Fekir’s long term injury, they are struggling offensively. There will be a lot of pressure on Valbuena, Lacazette and Beauvue to make things work offensively on Friday. They are not scoring enough since Fekir’s injury in September and defensively, they don’t always look very solid. This is a big game for them, especially before a crucial Champions League clash with Zenit.
Hubert Fournier might rotate a bit his squad to keep some players fresh for the Champions League. But they cannot afford a heavy defeat either a few days before that like they did at Bordeaux (3-1) before their defeat against Valencia three days later (1-0). But Lyon have lost only once in their last six visits at the Stade Louis II. And I think they will keep this good run with a win.
The odds are slightly in favour of Monaco with a home win at 2.25. A draw is at 3.30 and a Lyon away win is at 3.35.
Guido Carrillo is favourite to score first at 6.50. My best tip is under 0.5 goals scored by Monaco at 3.45.
Score prediction: Monaco 0 Lyon 1 at 10.50