Monaco - Lille - Friday 19.30 GMT
Monaco started the season with a 2-1 win in the derby away at Nice last weekend but they were unimpressive in the opening stages. L’ASM went one-nil down early on and Leonardo Jardim made changes after 25 and 43 minutes respectively. However, it paid off, as the visitors came from behind to take three points after a much better second half performance.
It was an ideal start, and this game at home to Lille should help Monaco gain confidence and momentum ahead of their Champions League play-off first leg clash with Valencia. The midweek tie with the Spaniards will take precedence but Jardim will still field a very strong side here. Bernardo Silva should start from kick-off, unlike at Nice, when he was introduced after 25 minutes, before going on to change the game.
Stephan El Shaarawy also made a big difference when he came on and should start against Lille. A lot is expected from the Italian international but he gave flashes of his potential on the south coast. At the back, Monaco were not quite as solid as last season and Aymen Abdennour could come in to add more solidity.
For Lille, it is already important to get a result. Their defeat against PSG last weekend, despite playing against 10 men for more than an hour, was disappointing. The Dogues simply didn’t cause the champions enough problems.
Their manager Hervé Renard has said that things will change and we can expect a more offensive Lille team. The former Ivory Coast boss made interesting choices against PSG, handing debuts to Sehrou Guirassy and Ibrahim Amadou. He may opt to go back to a more experienced line-up against the principality. However, Monaco are unbeaten in three matches at home against Lille and I expect them to get a win.
The odds are massively in favour of Monaco with a home win at 1.57. A draw is at 3.70 and a Lille away win is at 6.85.
Stephan El Shaarawy is favourite to score first at 4.80. My best tip is Monaco to win without conceding a goal at 2.15.
Score prediction: Monaco 2 Lille 0 at 7.00