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Fresh from a dominant appearance against Sparta Prague in the Champions League, Monaco aim for the first win of the Ligue 1 season in the second attempt Lorient Friday night.
Christophe PelissierThe men drew 1-1 with Saint-Etienne on the opening weekend, while Monaco was put off by Nantes to a stalemate with the same result.
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Unsurprisingly, Lorient stayed loyal to the man who managed to save his bacon in the 2020-21 season and tried to pick up where they left off after losing their Ligue 1 status after a miraculous turnaround for the 2021-22 season.
It took Pelissier’s team 52 minutes to open their account for the season at Saint-Etienne – with Vincent Le Goff‘s half volley from the wood crosses the line with the narrowest edges – but the verts talisman Wahbi Khazri won and converted a penalty after a VAR review to ensure a share of the loot.
Getting a point against Saint-Etienne – playing in front of their passionate fan base once again – is certainly not the worst way to get into the top division, as Lorient’s undefeated streak in both competitive and non-competitive games grew to eight games last weekend.
Merlus coach Pelissier praised the atmosphere after the draw and was understandably satisfied with winning points on the opening weekend. Before the first home game of the season, Lorient reached a home form on familiar terrain.
In fact, Pelissier’s side have won five last season and drawn one of their last six home games – won each of the last four – while not missing a goal since their 3-0 loss to Rennes in December 2020 on home soil.
Monaco tried to maintain a title challenge that came so close last season but didn’t start the 2021/22 season in an ideal way.
Niko Kovac‘s side went forward Caio Henrique‘s punctual delivery found the boot from Gelson Martins home for the Portuguese attacker but just before halftime, Jean-Charles Castelletto rose the highest to come home after a corner and force Les Monegasques to settle for a point.
However, Monaco had better luck during their early Champions League battles when they drew a 3-1 second leg win over Sparta Prague during the week, moving up 5-1 overall and one game in the playoff round with the Ukrainian Prepared powerhouse Shakhtar Donetsk.
As the two games of this continental duel will be played on August 17th and 24th, Kovac will take this into account when it comes to team selection for their Ligue 1 encounters, but the Monaco coach does not need to be reminded that the slip-ups were at the beginning the season have proven fatal in their title bid in their last term.
Les Monegasques have won nine of their last eleven Ligue 1 games and have played five straight games, while Lorient suffered four straight defeats against Monaco at the Stade de Moustoir.
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Lorient has said goodbye Yoane Wissa after moving to Brentford, but against Saint-Etienne he wasn’t involved there anyway Terem Moffi and Armand Lauriente led the line.
Playmaker Quentin Boisgard stays outside after being infected with coronavirus while Stephane Diarra (Thigh) and Loris Mouyokolo (Ankles) occupy places in the host’s treatment room.
newcomer Igor Silva is preparing to play another right-back after playing a key role in Le Goff’s Saint-Etienne opener while Thomas Monconduit is the only realistic name Pelissier could introduce for week two of the game.
Monaco manager Kovac is likely to make a series of changes again ahead of the Champions League meeting with Shakhtar, with Gelson Martins potentially taking a hiatus Alexander Golovin and Sofiane Diop spread wide.
Goal scorers central defender Guillermo Maripan and attackers Krepin Diatta are also back in the fold and could push for starting places while Alexander Nübel is used as the last line of defense in Benjamin Lecomte‘s absence.
Ruben Aguilar and newcomer Ismail Jacob are possible changes in the full-back area, while newcomer Myron Boadu could be drafted instead of to attack Wissam Ben Yedder.
Lorient possible starting line-up:
Nardi; Silva, Laporte, Mendes, Morel, Le Goff; Abergel, Lemoine; Le fee; Lauriente, Moffi
Monaco possible starting line-up:
Navel; Aguilar, Maripan, Badiashile, Henrique; Golovin, Fofana, Tchouameni, Diop; Boadu, Volland
Probability: Lorient 0-2 Monaco
A possible string of Monaco moves could result in Lorient licking his lips in the face of a surprise, but Kovac still desperately wants his side to claim their first league win of the season.
Should star striker Moffi find his shooting shoes soon, Les Merlus shouldn’t have any problems on the attacking front, but we continue to support Monaco to get the job done here.
Best betting tip for this match
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