Monaco 1.52 Draw 3.80 Bastia 7.25
Five days before their Champions League last 16 second leg against Arsenal, Monaco host Bastia on Friday evening at the Stade Louis II.
It is a massive revenge for the Monégasques after Bastia beat them on penalties in the League Cup semi final last month. It was a massive disappointment for Jardim and his players and they will want to redeem themselves on Friday and keep their momentum going.
They are in top form indeed. The win at Arsenal (3-1) was incredible and Monaco have only lost once in Ligue 1 since the end of November! They are defensively as strong as ever with 6 clean sheets in their last six home league games. But they have key players missing for this Mediterranean derby.
Wallace is still suspended, Ferreira Carrasco is out after twisting his ankle, Raggi, Kondogbia and Toulalan are still not ready yet to come back while Carvalho might start on the bench after six weeks out! That is a lot of big players missing and Jardim could also put Berbatov on the bench to have him fresh and ready for the Arsenal match.
Still, Monaco are favourites and they are also very much still in the race for a third place finish. They are indeed in 4th place, only 6 points behind Marseille but have a game in hand to play, against Montpellier on April 7th. They could potentially only be three points adrift their neighbours then and a win on Friday against Bastia would put a lot of pressure on Marseille who host Lyon on Sunday in the big clash of the weekend.
On top of their revenge mentality, they also have an extraordinary record against Bastia at home. They have lost only once to the Corsicans in 26 home league games since 1932! It was in 1972. In their last 10 visits to the Louis II for a league match, Bastia only managed to get three draws! But it won’t discourage them.
They showed in the League Cup semi final that they could cause problems to the Monaco defence. They are also in top form in 2015 with only one defeat since the start of the calendar year! Ghislain Printant is doing a fantastic job but he also has key players missing as Squillaci, Boudebouz and Cahuzac are all out.
However, I think that the Monaco players will be already thinking about the Arsenal game and that Bastia will be very defensive and will frustrate them to get a draw.
Best bet: Dimitar Berbatov is favourite to score first at 4.60 and my best tip is a draw at half time and a draw at full time at 4.90.
Score prediction: Monaco 0-0 Bastia at 8.00
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