Monaco had a hesitant start last round away at local rivals Nice and after only 10 minutes they were 1-0 down.
Coach Jardim quickly changed strategy and introduced newly arrived forward El Shaarawy and winger Silva and Monaco began to concentrate mostly on the offensive phase. Their pressure intensified and Nice started making mistakes and fouls were the only means of stopping Monaco. A red card followed and the fate of the game was sealed (Monaco won 2-1).
Upfront Monaco have plenty of options available so keeping the team fresh won’t a problem. They are capable of playing in speed and easily switching play from one side to another and taking opponents by surprise. It will take a while for all newly arrived attacking players to fully adapt (forward El Shaarawy, winger Cavaleiro, forward Carillo) but there are already signs of a powerful team with European ambitions.
Defensively Monaco may have some problems this season as both fullbacks like to advance a lot and defensive midfielders may be overwhelmed in trying to cover. Central defenders aren’t that fast anymore (at 31 and 37…) and could often be caught on the wrong foot.
Lille blew a good chance to start the season with the right foot after opponents PSG got a red card with about an hour to go. Coach Renard got desperate when the score was still 0-0, took out an injured defender and introduced a winger, more spaces were created and PSG were simply invited to take advantage (PSG won 1-0).
Lille ‘s coach Renard hasn’t proved himself in Ligue1 and this may too big of a task for him. He only coached Sochaux two seasons ago when the team relegated, and besides that job he is only experienced in training national teams. But coaching a national side is a totally different thing as it doesn’t involve daily training sessions, on the contrary, national teams get together once every couple of months, it’s a comfortable job…
Lille have a couple of big problems this season: no striker with killer instincts (last round they started with 19 years old Guirassy upfront), defensive midfielders are getting old and slow, the central defense suffers after Kjaer and Rozenhal left, plus an inexperienced coach.
Guests may miss central defender Amadou who suffered an injury last week.
These teams are heading in different directions, for Monaco a great season is foreseen both in the domestic competition and in Europe, but for Lille this can be a really disappointing year. Monaco -1 at 2.13
UPDATE: Lille will have to do without central defenders Amadou and Basa
Monaco: Subasic, Nardi – R.Carvalho, Fabinho, Kurzawa, Raggi, Wallace – Bakayoko, Ber.Silva, Dirar, Moutinho, Pasalic, Toulalan, Lemar – Bahlouli, Cavaleiro, Carrillo, El Shaarawy, A.Martial
Lille: Enyeama, Elana – Corchia, D.Sidibé, Civelli, Sunzu, Pavard, Soumaoro – Mavuba, Balmont, S.Meïté, Obbadi, Boufal, Bauthéac – R.Mendes, Guillaume, Guirassy, Rodelin, Tallo