French Ligue 1 kicks off tonight at 20:45 (CET), as Monaco welcomes Olympique Lyon to the Stade Louis II.
AS Monaco and Olympique Lyon will raise the curtain on the new season in French football. The Ligue 1 starts with a big derby game on Friday night, a game which is traditionally an open and exciting one.
Both sides will be looking to get off to a good start of the 2019-20 season and eventually challenge Paris Saint-Germain for the league title.
Monaco lifted the trophy for the last time back in 2017, while Lyon won all of their seven Ligue 1 crowns in a row, between 2001 and 2008.
Stevan Jovetic is sidelined for the host side due to Cruciate Ligament Rupture, while Gelson Martins who signed a permanent deal with the club is expected to start the Ligue 1 opener.
Lyon will get into the new season without their former captain Nabil Fekir and Tanguy Ndombele, as they left for Real Betis and Tottenham respectively.
Bertrand Traore, Moussa Dembele and Memphis Depay were all among the standout players last season and should feature in the attack this evening.
What did the managers say
Leonardo Jardim, who was sacked but they reappointed as AS Monaco head coach last season says his sides will have to go game by game in the new season.
“I preach hard work. That is the most important. There are many examples of teams having a bad season and picking up on the next one. It’s a new season. A new challenge. We must take it match after match and it starts on Friday against Lyon.
“Lyon is the third-placed squad of last season, a big team that always has the ambition to play first place; it will not be easy, but as always we will do our best to win this match,” he said via Monaco’s official website.
Former Barcelona defender Sylvinho, will have his managerial debut in the Ligue 1 opener this evening.
“I think the beginning of the season is always a good time. The team will improve after three or four matches. Being ready is one thing, drawing conclusions is another,” he said at a press conference.
“You can’t go too fast. We have a technical team. There are adjustments to be made with the new signings. I think we’re ready. The captain will be announced on Friday. But there will be many people who can form this leadership”
Goals should be guaranteed in this fixture with only one of their last 15 encounters having finished in a goalless draw.
We’ve actually seen at least three goals in seven of the last eight meetings between AS Monaco and Olympique Lyon and an average of 4,25 goals per game in the process.
Lyon finished the 2018-19 campaign with five wins in the last six rounds, but won only one game during their pre-season this summer.
Monaco, on the other hand, won only one of their last nine Ligue 1 games last season. They finished in 17th place with only eight wins and 36 points on their account.