Monaco-OL: New Ligue 1 season kicks off with a bang
Five warm-up matches, one win. Let's just say it: Lyon's summer was far from hot in terms of results. That said, we must remember that there's a new head coach - Sylvinho - in charge of a team that saw several key players leave (Mendy, Ndombele, Fekir) while adding lots of new faces (Koné, Andersen, Mendes, Jean Lucas) to take their place. Monaco, our first opponent of the season, has also undergone a major renovation in the hopes of putting a disastrous 2018-2019 campaign (17th place) behind them.
The stakes are high for both teams: OL have to reinvent themselves after spending three and a half seasons under of Bruno Genesio, while Jardim's squad are aiming for a Champions League berth after coming dangerously close to relegation. The ambitions are similar and, coincidentally, Lyon and Monaco could very well be neck and neck in the standings from now through the month of May.
While the wounds of the 2018-2019 season may not yet be fully healed for Monaco, there are some positives. For starters, ASM won't be distracted by European competition and can focus fully on Ligue 1 Conforama. It's always an advantage against rivals who, in general, spend a lot of energy during midweek games. A failed year also allowed Monaco to identify areas that needed retouching. Exit Subasic, in came Lecomte, one of the best goalkeepers of the championship. Goodbye Sidibé, hello Aguilar, a modern defender, young and efficient. These arrivals, coupled with securing Gelson Martins in a permanent move, not to mention the possibility of making further deals before the transfer window closes, offer the 2017 French champions a rich workforce, both in quality and quantity.