Monaco v Lyon – Stade Louis II at 19:45 GMT+1 Live at BT Sport
The new Ligue 1 season gets underway on Friday with a blockbuster between Monaco and Lyon at the Stade Louis II. The two teams enjoyed vastly contrasting campaigns in 2018/19, although plenty of pundits believe the pair are the most likely candidates to battle it out for second spot behind hot favourites PSG.
Monaco endured a miserable time of it last term. For the second successive summer the principality club saw their key assets pilfered and canny head coach Leonardo Jardim was unable to keep Les Monegasques on track. After being axed in October, Les Rouges et Blancs moved to bring in Thierry Henry to the hot-seat.
The Henry appointment was a mitigating disaster with Monaco dismissing him in January. Jardim was brought back barely 100 days after his departure to save the side from relegation. The Portuguese boss steadied the ship and kept heads above water, even though Monaco’s performance data promised much more.
Lyon begin a new era
Lyon finished third last time out, concluding the campaign only three points adrift of Lille. Advanced analytics suggested Les Gones were Ligue 1’s second-best side, although a lack of consistency in both boxes put paid to progression under Bruno Genesio’s watch and his reign was ended in May.
First-time club boss Sylvinho is the new man in charge, appointed by returning legend Juninho Pernambucano, who takes over as sporting director. The Brazilian pair have seen Tanguy Ndombele, Ferland Mendy and Nabil Fekir move on but Thiago Mendes, Youssouf Kone and Joachim Andersen are strong signings.
Sylvinho has expressed his desire to play an attacking 4-3-3 system and the Rhone-Alpes club should pack plenty of punch with the likes of Memphis Depay, Moussa Dembele, Bertrand Traore, Martin Terrier and Maxwell Cornet all battling it out for starting berths in an offensively-minded outfit.
Goals on the agenda
Monaco secured the permanent signing of Gelson Martins in the off-season and still have talisman Radamel Falcao leading the line despite interest from elsewhere. The duo should ensure Les Rouges et Blancs provide plenty of thrust in forward areas for the hosts with Cesc Fabregas pulling the strings in midfield.
Meetings between Monaco and Lyon have tended to be enjoyable affairs with seven of the past eight showdowns featuring at least three goals, and 11 of the last 14 head-to-heads producing profitable Both Teams To Score selections. It’s difficult to oppose a repeat in Friday night’s Ligue 1 curtain-raiser.
Over 2.5 Goals can be snapped up at 1.95 and that’s an appealing play. Only PSG’s (3.68) games returned a higher goals per-game average than Lyon’s (3.08) last season with all bar six of Les Gones’ road trips paying-out for Over 2.5 Goals backers. Eight of Lyon’s 10 tussles with the top-six also saw Over 2.5 Goals land.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.950
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.