Friday Ligue 1 Betting Odds, Picks, Prediction: Monaco vs. Nantes Preview (August 6)
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images. Pictured: Wissam Ben Yedder.
- The European soccer season opens with Monaco hosting Nantes in France's Ligue 1.
- Monaco will be in the Champions League this season, while Nantes are hoping to avoid another relegation scrap.
- Matthew Trebby breaks down the matchup and where he sees betting value to open the new campaign.
Monaco vs. Nantes Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-150 / +120)|
|Day | Time||Friday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||beIN SPORTS | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Thursday night via DraftKings.|
The European soccer season firmly gets underway Friday afternoon when Monaco hosts Nantes in the Ligue 1 opener.
The two sides enjoyed differing 2020-21 campaigns, although both finished the season with a flourish after the turn of the year. Monaco will have title ambitions entering this campaign, while Nantes hopes to avoid another relegation scare.
Let’s break down the matchup. Soccer is back!
Monaco Look to Build Off Strong 2020-21 Season
Coming off a fantastic third-place finish in Ligue 1 last season, Monaco appear poised for more. The club, which finished just five points behind champion Lille and four points behind Paris Saint-Germain, added a couple strong players to the squad while keeping the rest of the team intact.
Alexander Nubel was brought in from Bayern Munich on a two-year loan to gain experience before eventually taking over for Manuel Neuer, while promising Dutch striker Myron Boadu was signed from AZ Alkmaar.
Most 4-4-2 setups in modern soccer are defensive formations built to serve as a wall, but Monaco’s is a bit more attacking than the likes of Burnley.
Up top, Boadu will join the impressive strike partnership of Wissam Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland, who combined for 36 goals in league play last season. Gelson Martins and Aleksandr Golovin provide the width, while Aurelien Tchouameni and Youssouf Fofana will be the primary midfield duo.
The defense will be spearheaded by 20-year-old Benoit Badiashile, who broke through as a constant presence in the team last year and might not be around long for Monaco.
This is a young squad that has room to improve under head coach Niko Kovač. While the starting XI is a mix and match of experience and youth, most players in reserve, aside from Cesc Fabregas, are under 21 years of age.
Nantes Should Avoid Another Relegation Battle
Nantes finished 18th last season in Ligue 1 and maintained its top-flight status through a playoff against Toulouse, winning 2-2 on away goals.
It was a hectic season for Nantes, which had four managers in charge, including an ambitious appointment of former France boss Raymond Domenech that only lasted a month and a half.
Antoine Koumbouare stepped in and delivered big time, getting 21 points from Nantes’ final 14 games, including four wins in its final five, to secure a playoff spot and eventually survival.
With Koumbouare in charge, Nantes ranked fifth in Ligue 1 with a 4.5 non-penalty expected goal difference (NPxGD), according to Understat, that was better than Lille. The club scored 25 goals during those 14 games, although it registered just 17.95 NPxG.
It was a relatively quiet summer for Nantes, with former Ligue 1 mainstay Wylan Cyprien the only signing so far in midfield. Goalkeeper Alban Lafont highlights the defense, while the attack is primarily led by the trio of Randal Kolo Muani, Ludovic Blas and Moses Simon, who combined to score 15 goals and dish out 11 assists during Koumbouare’s 14 games.
Nantes might not be competing for a European place this season, but it shouldn’t be in another relegation battle in 2021-22. It will be a team to potentially find value on early in the season if books don’t give it enough respect.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Both of these clubs’ meetings last season finished with 2-1 wins for Monaco. I expect this game to be similarly competitive, given the lack of significant change to either squad and Nantes’ strong finish to last season.
In both of those meetings a season ago, Monaco took a 1-0 lead into halftime. I think it has an edge in this game, as well, having played a Champions League qualifier Tuesday against Sparta Prague, which was a game Monaco won, 2-0, in the Czech Republic.
I’ll back Monaco to come out the more ready of the two teams and take a lead after the first 45 minutes at plus money.
Pick: Monaco 1H ML (+100)