The 2017/18 Ligue 1 season begins on Friday night and defending champions Monaco have the honour of kicking-off the campaign at the Stade Louis II against Toulouse. Last season, Monaco produced a shock by winning their first French league title since 1999/2000. They finished the season 8 points clear of second placed Paris Saint-Germain, in what was a tremendous season for Leonardo Jardim and his players.
They scored a total of 107 goals in 38 games, which is a fantastic return.
Toulouse finished the 2016/17 season in 13th place, 8 points clear of the relegation zone. Pascal Dupraz will be hoping to lead his team further up the table this season.
Monaco started the season in the French Super Cup last weekend and lost 1-2 to Paris Saint-Germain at the Grand Stade de Tanger. Monaco took the lead only to concede 2 goals in the second half.
While Monaco have been trying to prepare for the new season playing friendly games, it is off the pitch where most of the news has been coming from. They have lost midfielders Bernardo Silva and Tiemoue Bakayoko and defender Bernard Mendy. Star striker Kylian Mbappe also seems set to leave the club.
Monaco lost only 1 match at home in Ligue 1 last season and are on a 10-game winning streak, something they will hope to extend on Friday night. Monaco scored 31 goals in those 10 games, averaging just over 3 goals per game.
Toulouse come into this match having remained unbeaten in their last 4 friendly matches of preseason. There were 3 draws and a win, which came in their final match against Osasuna.
Toulouse failed to win any of their last 7 games in Ligue 1, picking up just 4 points from a possible 21 and will need to improve on that if they are to avoid being in a relegation fight this season.
Away from home last season Toulouse won only 2 games and have won only 1 of their last 15 games on the road. They have scored in each of their last 3 away games but also conceded 6 goals in the same period, losing 2 and drawing 1 of those games.
Monaco have added midfielder Youri Tielemans and defender Terence Kongolo to their squad and both should start this match. With speculation surrounding the future of Mbappe, it remains to be seen if the forward will be involved.
Toulouse will be looking towards former Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo for goals this season, especially following the departure of Martin Braithwaite to Middlesbrough. Former Monaco forward Corentin Jean will be looking to get one over his old club if he starts.
Top Betting Tip
Despite several of their players being linked with moves away from the club, Monaco should have more than enough to win this game and are available at 1/3 to take maximum points.
However, Toulouse did find their scoring touch away from home towards the end of last season and scored in the meeting between the teams at the Stade Louis II. Monaco to win and both teams to score is 19/10 at Ladbrokes.
Having scored last week in the French Super Cup against Paris Saint-Germain, it appears Djibril Sidibe may have licence to play an even more attacking role than last season. This makes him a goal scoring threat and he can be backed at 11/2 with William Hill to score at any time.