Even in the early stages of the season, AS Monaco must be harboring hopes of clinching their second Ligue 1 title in 24 years, given their current position at the top of the league table with three wins and two draws in five games. Interestingly, history offers a glimmer of hope, as the last time they went undefeated in their initial five league matches was in the triumphant 2016/17 season. However, it’s worth noting that during their previous title-winning campaign, they faced a setback in their sixth game when they succumbed to a 4-0 defeat against their upcoming opponents, OGC Nice.
Adi Hütter and his squad will undoubtedly be eager to avoid a similar fate this time around, particularly as they’ve already established themselves as the most entertaining team in the league. Their matches in the current season have been a goal fest, producing a total of 22 goals, a remarkable four more than the next highest-scoring team in France’s top-flight, Montpellier. It comes as no surprise, then, that Monaco has been the most prolific side in the league, netting 15 goals, a five-goal lead over any other team.
However, Nice will not be intimidated by the challenge ahead. Under the guidance of their new manager, Francesco Farioli, they are one of four teams still undefeated in Ligue 1 this season, with two wins and three draws to their name. The memory of disrupting Monaco’s unbeaten start six years ago serves as a source of inspiration, and they have recent history on their side, having comfortably defeated Monaco 3-0 at Stade Louis II in their last encounter in February.
Moreover, that victory marked the last time Nice managed back-to-back league wins, and they are brimming with confidence after a sensational 3-2 upset of PSG in Paris last weekend. Farioli may be pondering what might have been, as his team’s first two matches under his leadership ended in 1-1 draws despite taking the lead on both occasions.
Turning our attention to standout players, Folarin Balogun is pushing for a starting spot for Monaco after scoring his debut goal for the club against Lorient. On the other side, Terem Moffi showcased his prowess by netting a brace against PSG and has a penchant for performing well against Monaco, with a career-best record of seven goals against them.
Intriguingly, Nice boasts an impressive statistic, having gone unbeaten in their last 35 away matches in all competitions when they score the opening goal, winning 25 of those encounters and drawing 10. This resilience on the road is a testament to their ability to control games once they take the lead.