Monaco head into another tough test when they host current Ligue 1 runners-up, OGC Nice at Stade Louis II on Saturday. This comes on the heels of their tough 1-1 away draw against Paris St Germain just last Sunday. Leonardo Jardim’s men are still at the top of the table and share equal points with their weekend visitors but with a healthier goal average. OGC Nice gave up their premier position on the table post-December when they went without a win for 4 matches in a row. The 3-1 win against Guingamp last weekend broke that miserable run. For Nice fans, Mario Balotelli’s return to form with a brace in the Guingamp win was a welcome relief. The mercurial Italian has nine goals so far from his 11 games and along with striker Alassane Plea (the team’s top scorer with 11) will spearhead their search for more goals at Stade Louis come Saturday evening. But Lucien Favre’s boys have not too many goals to show. Their tally of goals in this Ligue 1 season is just 38 which contrasts glaringly with Monaco’s 65. In fact, PSG and Lyon with 42 and 40 have more goals.
Although Nice have incredibly lost just one Ligue game this season (compared to Monaco’s three losses), it’s the spate of draws that have let them down. Their last 6 outings have seen them playing out as many as four and 2 of them being goalless ones. Their defence marshalled by the very experienced Dante and assisted admirably by the likes of Souquet, Baysse, Burner and Le Marchand have let in the least number of goals by any team (15). But that may not bother Leonardo Jardim’s men as they will look to add to their huge tally of goals during the weekend clash. It would be interesting to see how the Nice defence copes with the attacking flair of Radamel Falcao, Guido Carrillo, Thomas Lemar & co. Much in contrast to the visitors, Monaco are a team in form. They have lost just one of their last six games and have found the back of the net on 12 occasions compared to only 8 scored by Nice from the same number of their previous games. The host have got 38 of their 65 goals at home and look very likely to dominate proceedings on Saturday.It could be revenge time for Leonardo Jardim’s boys, having been humiliated 0-4 on their last trip to Nice.The hosts have lost just once at home in their last five meetings with Nice and they will look to better that record on February 4. One can look at a 1-0 or even a 2-0 win for Monaco FC.
Monaco to Win, best odds 1.6 @ Skybet
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