Preview: Monaco vs. Nice – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday’s Ligue 1 clash between Monaco and Nice, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Monaco and Nice will put their respective unbeaten records on the line when they lock horns at the Stade Louis II on Friday night.

The hosts sit atop the Ligue 1 table after five matches, while the visitors find themselves fourth – two points shy of Les Monegasques.

Match preview

© Reuters

Despite racking up 20 shots while enjoying the lion’s share of possession at the Stade du Moustoir, Monaco were held to a 2-2 draw by Lorient last weekend, with Romain Faivre scoring a 98th-minute equaliser to snatch a point for the hosts.

Still, Adi Hutter‘s side remain unbeaten this season after kicking off their campaign with a run of three wins and two draws, meaning that Les Monegasques sit one point clear of second-placed Brest and three points above perennial champions Paris Saint-Germain.

It is also worth noting that Monaco boast the league’s best offensive record by some distance, having scored 15 goals across their opening five matches this term, while their nearest challengers – PSG and Rennes – have netted 10 goals during the same period.

Captain Wissam Ben-Yedder has bagged four goals in five appearances this season, while former Liverpool winger Takumi Minamino has already contributed three goals and three assists, making Monaco one of the most feared teams in the division.

Nice's Terem Moffi celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates on September 15, 2023© Reuters

Meanwhile, Nice clinched a hugely impressive 3-2 victory over PSG last time out, with a brace from Terem Moffi and a goal from Gaetan Laborde cancelling out a double from Kylian Mbappe, who leads Monaco’s Ben-Yedder by three goals in the Ligue 1 scoring charts.

Although Les Aiglons saw just 30% of the ball at Parc des Prices, they managed to register 14 shots – eight of which were on target – while the hosts recorded only three shots on target throughout the contest, failing to make the most of their dominance.

Nice started the season with successive draws against Lille, Lorient and Lyon, conceding just two goals in the process, but they head into Friday’s clash on a two-game winning streak, having secured a 2-0 victory over Strasbourg before last weekend’s triumph against PSG.

After conceding four goals in five matches, Nice also possess the joint-best defensive record in the division, meaning that Francesco Farioli‘s men will be confident of frustrating free-scoring Monaco, who have found the back of the net at an eye-catching rate this term.

Monaco Ligue 1 form:

Nice Ligue 1 form:

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Team News

OGC Nice's Reda Belahyane and teammates on August 6, 2023© Reuters

Monaco’s injury list contains Breel Embolo, Mohammed Salisu, Edan Diop and Eliesse Ben Seghir, while ex-Chelsea loanee Denis Zakaria is a doubt for Friday’s showdown after picking up a minor thigh issue.

New signing Folarin Balogun came off the bench to score his first goal for Les Monegasques last weekend, although the former Arsenal striker is expected to start as a substitute on Friday as Wissam Ben-Yedder, Takumi Minamino and Aleksandr Golovin continue in attack.

Wilfried Singo, Guillermo Maripan and Soungoutou Magassa will likely fill the centre-back spots in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Vanderson and Caio Henrique occupying the wing-back roles for the hosts.

Nice, on the other hand, are still without long-term injury absentee Salvatore Sirigu, while Antoine Mendy and Alexis Claude-Maurice also remain on the treatment table.

Francesco Farioli will be tempted to stick with the same starting XI that instigated last weekend’s victory over PSG, meaning that highly-rated France international Khephren Thuram will be joined by Youssouf Ndayishimiye and Morgan Sanson in a midfield three.

Terem Moffi will continue to lead the line for the visitors after bagging a brace last time out, while 39-year-old veteran Dante should partner fellow centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo at the opposite end of the pitch.

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Kohn; Singo, Maripan, Magassa; Vanderson, Matazo, Fofana, Henrique; Minamino, Golovin; Ben-Yedder

Nice possible starting lineup:
Bulka; Lotomba, Todibo, Dante, Bard; Sanson, Ndayishimiye, Thuram; Laborde, Moffi, Diop

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We say: Monaco 3-2 Nice

If recent results and trends are anything to go by, Friday’s clash will be a high-scoring affair between two in-form teams, with both sides bidding to preserve their unbeaten record.

Given that Monaco average three goals per game in 2023-24, we expect the hosts to outscore the visitors at the Stade Louis II, but Nice look set to give Les Monegasques a run for their money.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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