Monaco v Nice – Stade Louis II at 19:45 GMT live at BT Sport
There are signs of life for Monaco under Thierry Henry’s tutorship over the past fortnight. Les Monegasques beat fellow strugglers Caen, before putting in an excellent effort against high-flying Montpellier before losing out to two late losses. However, the principality club bounced back in midweek.
Travelling to fellow strugglers Amiens, Monaco came away with a 2-0 triumph thanks to two goals from the penalty spot, Radamel Falco slotting both away. Henry’s troops have moved out of Ligue 1’s relegation zone, and whilst they’re still stuck in the mire of the dogfight, there are green shoots.
Monaco now appeals to their Stade Louis II home looking for a first league victory of 2018/19. The return from suspension of Aleksandr Golovin will bolster the home ranks, and with Nacer Chadli and Falcao finding form, and Benjamin Henrichs impressing in an advanced role, there’s plenty to be positive about.
Nice built from the back
It’s taken time but Nice finally look like a Ligue 1 side to be reckoned with under the stewardship of Patrick Vieira. Les Aiglons struggled defensively last season and the summer departures of star men Alassane Plea and Jean-Michel Seri left the Riviera side short of quality in the camp.
After an understandably shaky start, Nice have found their wings with a settled starting line-up emerging and an impressively strong defensive set-up. The visitors make the short journey across the coast having silenced each of their past six opponents, winning four of those games ‘to nil’.
Over their past 13 outings, Nice have only been beaten by clubs currently in the top five (PSG, Montpellier, Marseille) with only runaway defending champions PSG scoring more than a solitary goal against Vieira’s men. However, the away side haven’t always convinced in the final-third themselves.
Oppose goals in Friday night’s derby
Les Aiglons have fired blanks in seven of their 16 matches under the former Arsenal ace and that’s led to a whole host of low-scoring contests. Only Reims (1.53) are seeing fewer goals per-game than Nice (1.63) with 12/16 (75%) games producing Under 2.5 Goals profit.
Monaco’s matches have gone Under 2.5 Goals in seven of their most recent 12 Ligue 1 showdowns and so a repeat at 1.87 holds plenty of appeal here.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.50 goals at 1.860
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.
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