Monaco are one step away from becoming a complete force. They only need more flexibility, more diversity when it comes to building actions.
The central midfielders are defensive minded, and even if they participate at creation it just can’t be compared with the attitude, or mind set, of an attacking midfielder.
Their offensive midfielder Moutinho doesn’t seem to be in good form and is avoided by teammates. As a consequence he doesn’t participate a lot at the creative phase, and most of his involvement occurs when passing to teammates behind him.
So Monaco are only focused on building actions on the flanks where young Carrasco and Ocampos seem to be overwhelmed. Especially Ocampos had a sudden changed in attitude when realizing he is constantly in the spotlight and started acting like a rock star.
Due to playing mainly on the sides, striker Falcao is almost always caught with his back at the goal and forced to lose precious moments, severely diminishing Monaco’s offensive power.
It’s an entire different story when we talk about Monaco’s defense. It is simply impenetrable with Abidal and Carvalho in the center. Some may say that the young age of fullbacks Fabinho and Kurzawa may be a drawback, but they are surprisingly mature and confident in interventions for their age.
Opponents Bastia are in a definite uptrend. Newly arrived Krasic played his first game last round and didn’t disappointed. He is one of those players that never gets tired, no matter the age or the distance covered. Acceleration, speed and ball control have always been Krasic’s strong points, allowing him to make a difference on the wings.
For this game Palmieri (normally fullback but nowadays winger) will return from suspension. This is great news, as against a team like Monaco (that likes to build on the sides) a winger with fullback experience could prevent many opponents’ actions from being born.
Another good news is that offensive midfielder Ilan is suspended. Most probably Boudebouz will take his place. He always takes part in the defensive phase, unlike Ilan that often neglected the defensive duties.
With Palmieri and Krasic on the sides I see Bastia successfully resisting applied by Monaco. If by any chance something gets through, there’s Landreau in goal, a very experienced keeper with cat reflexes.
To be honest I see an upset in this game, but concentrating on the under / over market can prove to be safer.
Considering Monaco’s predilection for playing mostly on the wings Bastia will be able to reject all incoming dangers.
In the end this may be the most boring game of the round, with few to none goal scoring opportunities. This is why taking under 2.5 goals at the odds of 2.04 is the best option.