Stadium: Louis II, Monaco.
Referee: Stephanie Frappart.
In the main match of the 5th round of the French Ligue 1, Monaco will meet on home ground with Marseille. Their last head-to-head encounters have been spectacular, but can we expect something similar now?
Monaco have had a disappointing start to the season. In 4 rounds of the French championship, they have only 4 points, and they were also eliminated from the Champions League. The picture is quite familiar. After all, in the past, there have been cases when the team was slow to start. Some of their leaders departed during the transfer window. Probably, the Monegasque side lacked chemistry. One of Monaco’s most promising newcomers, Myron Boadu, is not yet at his best, although he has scored a combined total of 29 goals in his last two outings for AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie. Wissam Ben-Yedder is also unstable, and it’s Sofiane Diop gets the blame, scoring two goals in this season’s Ligue 1. Complicating matters is that Alexander Golovin was recently injured, and he is unlikely to take to the field in the next couple of weeks. Djibril Sidibe and Kevin Volland will also not play.
Niko Kovac’s side beat Troyes 2-1 away before going on international duty. Overall, Monaco defended well, with Ruben Aguilar scoring the only goal of the game. Up front, the Monegasques were not very active and took only eight shots on goal, but there were enough chances to win. At the beginning of the meeting, Gelson Martins missed an excellent chance, and then Sofiane Diop netted the brace and became the main hero of the meeting.
The Provençal side has won 2 out of 3 Ligue 1 rounds, putting them in 4th place on the table. The club recently secured a replay against Nice, so Marseille now have a match in hand, which will take place on neutral ground. There are also negative consequences. Dimitri Payet will not play against Monaco, and Alvaro Gonzalez will miss two league games. Payet’s absence could have a significant impact on the game. Jorge Sampaoli has often used him as a centre-forward, while Arkadiusz Milik is out. Dario Benedetto left in the summer transfer window, and recent acquisitions include Amine Harit, who has spent the last four seasons at Schalke.
Jorge Sampaoli’s men beat St-Etienne 3-1 on home soil in the last Ligue 1 fixture. Marseille did not take all their chances. Valentin Rongier missed a good chance as early as on 1 minute, and Luis Enrique missed the ball midway through the second half. Having made it 2-1, the opponents almost got back into the game, but on the whole, their success was fair. Marseille were sharper with their attacking moves, which resulted in three clear-cut chances. Cengiz Under scored his third goal of the league season, with newcomers Matteo Guendouzi and Gerson scoring a goal.
History of the encounters between Monaco and Marseille
In their last ten encounters, Monaco have won 4 games and suffered three defeats. In their previous meeting, Marseille lost their away game 1-3, and since then, they have changed almost half of their squad: Thauvin, Benedetto, Radonjić, Cuisance, and Sakai are gone. Golovin was fit to help the Monegasque side, while Martins and Fabregas were absent.
Important facts about the match
- Monaco have won 4 of their last ten home games in regulation time, suffering four defeats;
- Marseille won 2 of their last ten away matches;
- Monaco had scored one goal in their last ten games.
Expert Betting Tips
Monaco and Marseille have conceded at least one goal in each round, but when you look at the xG score created by the opponents, both teams are in the top 3 of all Ligue 1 clubs. The opponents combined for just 13 shots on goal in their last encounter, converting them into four goals, and with such a game, it is reasonable to expect a drop in performance. In the away game against Nice, Marseille failed to score in 78 minutes, although they created several goalscoring opportunities. The Monegasques defend with dignity, and they could have dried up the away game had it not been for an unfortunate own goal. I propose to bet on the following outcomes:
- W1 for 2.00;
- Total Under 2.5 goals for 1.93;
- Monaco to win to nil for 3.75.