FRANCE: Ligue 1
Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: Stade Louis II, Monaco
The 2021/22 Ligue 1 (L1) campaign begins for Monaco, after a successful trip to Prague in midweek (W 2-0). That could give them the edge in terms of match sharpness, especially with the arrival of young Dutch dynamo Myron Boadu from AZ on August 4. He had a strong 2020/21 Eredivisie season (15 goals), and finished third in the open-play scoring charts.
As if the projections for this match couldn’t be clearer, only annual title favourites PSG had a higher win-rate as a L1 matchday favourite than Monaco’s 66.67% last term. Monaco also scored eight goals across their three home games vs the eventual bottom-three in 2020/21, and boast a very positive all-time L1 H2H record (W45, D26, L26).
With Nantes playing under four different managers across the last 49 league rounds, a lack of consistent leadership has affected them. Even so, ‘Les Canaries’ have won as many L1 games under current manager Antoine Kombouaré (W6, D3, L5) as they did in the 35 games prior to his arrival.
The visitors survived through the away goals rule alone in the 2020/21 relegation play-off. A shock win here will largely erase the traumatic memories of that battle, but they are winless in four L1 season openers (D1, L3), and a failure to find victory here at long odds will see them equal a five-game run of drawn/lost opening assignments spanning from 1971-1975.
Players to watch: Netting in Monaco’s midweek win at Sparta Prague – and claiming the ‘FlashScore Man of the Match’ award – Kevin Volland enjoyed his finest scoring league season to date last term (16 goals), though just four of his strikes served to open the scoring. Meanwhile, it was Randal Kolo Muani’s second goal at Toulouse which ultimately kept Nantes in the division – he also scored one here before VAR ruined his celebrations.
- Monaco’s form in last 5 matches: WLWDW.
- Nantes’ form in last 5 matches: LLWLL
PREDICTION: Home/Draw and Over 1.5