Monaco v Rennes – Stade Louis II at 16:00 GMT+1
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.
Monaco presumed last season’s woes were behind them but the Stade Louis II club continued to toil in 2019/20, false-starting with a W0-D3-L3 return from their first six Ligue 1 fixtures whilst conceding an eye-watering 14 league goals. Les Monegasques were back in the bottom three and again apparently in crisis.
Thankfully for Jardim, his team appear to have negotiated troubled waters and Monaco produced improved displays to pocket back-to-back home wins before sliding to a loss at Montpellier before the international break. Despite that defeat, the Monte Carlo men went down swinging, generating 2.06 Expected Goals (xG).
Opportunity for Rennes to find their form
Rennes endured a topsy-turvy campaign in 2018/19, ending the season slap-bang in mid-table with consistency lacking. SRFC tended to toil when well-fancied to pick up points on the road and Julian Stephan’s been keen to right those wrongs this time around, although the Britany boys have slumped lately.
Les Rouge et Noir are winless in league action since August (W0-D3-L3) and Stephan’s side have unimpressed in the final-third, generating just 0.47 xG from open play on average, the division’s second-lowest tally. Nevertheless, there’s an opportunity for Rennes to redeliver their offensive flair here on Sunday.
Goals on the agenda
Ligue 1 is renowned as a low-scoring league and 2019/20 has proven no different with only 44% of fixtures featuring Over 2.5 Goals, with an average of just 2.13 goals per-game. However, Monaco have been the division’s major entertainers with all bar one of their nine matches seeing Over 2.5 Goals.
The hosts have only kept out a pragmatic Reims outfit, shipping two goals or more on six occasions already. At the Stade Louis II, Les Monegasques have seen a huge 4.60 goals per-game with four of their five outings breaking the Over 3.5 Goals barrier, with performance data ratings mirroring the high goals count.
Excluding dead-ball situations, Monaco’s matches are delivering a huge 2.67 per-game average according to Expected Goals (xG) and if Jardim’s outfit take a similar approach to Sunday’s contest, the even-money available on a goal-heavy game in the principality deserves to be snapped up.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 Goals at 2.000
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