Nice vs Monaco preview

September 8, 2017
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Last year’s title rivals have had contrasting starts to the new league campaign, and it is Nice who will be under pressure to show some improvement.

Monaco, on the other hand, continued the rich vein of form despite losing a host of key footballers and they are now after a fifth consecutive triumph.

Nice largely impressed to achieve a third-place finish in French Ligue 1 last season, but this could easily prove to be a one-off feat.

Namely, les Aiglons were soundly beaten by Napoli in the Champions League play-offs, while also struggling in the new league campaign.

Europa League group stages will serve as a consolation prize for the Stade Allianz Riviera outfit, but they won’t be able to focus on their European exploits unless the results on domestic stage improve.

Four games into the new league championship and les Aiglons find themselves just above the bottom three having suffered no fewer than three defeats.

And having failed to score a single goal in losses to Napoli and Amiens, Nice clearly face a difficult task against in-form Monaco.

Malang Sarr and Alain Saint-Maximin picked up injuries on international duty, but the latter should be fit to play, while Dante misses out through suspension.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Cardinale – Souquet, Le Marchand, Marlon, Jallet – Koziello, Seri – Lees Melou, Sneijder, Walter – Plea.

Many believed that Monaco would crumble after selling a number of star players in the summer window, but so far the Principality club are doing just fine.

The club earned great money from the sales of Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Tiemoue Bakayoko, while they will receive another €180 million if PSG trigger Mbappe’s buy-out clause.

Monaco appear to have again shrewdly invested the money into new recruits, with late deals for Stevan Jovetic and Balde Keita likely to make all the difference.

Even before the duo arrived at Stade Louis II, the Principality club were in fine form, winning all four league matches, scoring 14 goals in the process.

Monaco players are brimming with confidence after the 6-1 hammering of Marseille and they can now be backed at 1.85 (17/20) to see off Nice as well.

New signings Stevan Jovetic and Balde Keita should be in contention, and one of them could start alongside Radamel Falcao.

Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Subasic – Sidibe, Glik, Jemerson, Jorge – Rony Lopes, Fabinho, Moutinho, Lemar – Jovetic, Falcao.

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