The home side were undoubtedly the most disappointing team in French football last season as they narrowly avoided relegation, but this time around they have their eyes set on a return to the Champions League.
Lyon, meanwhile, will once again play in Europe’s top tier, but after a somewhat flat 2018-19, they come into the new season having been given a summer facelift as club legend Juninho has returned as a sporting director, installing Sylvinho has the head coach.
Which of Ligue 1’s giants will have the better start?
|Game||Monaco vs Lyon|
|Date||Friday, August 9|
|Time||7:45pm BST / 2:45pm ET|
|Stream (US)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|beIN Sports / beIN Sports en Espanol||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be available to watch on BT Sport 1. It can be streamed via BT Sport Live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 1||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Defenders||Aguilar, Badiashile, Ballo-Toure, Glik, Henrichs, Jemerson, Naldo, Panzo|
|Midfielders||Bastiao Dias, Boschilia, Chadli, Fàbregas, Rony Lopes, Gelson Martins, A.Traoré|
Monaco will have to do without Radamel Falcao, Keita Balde and Aleksandr Golovin for this clash as the trio are all suspended.
Leonardo Jardim’s offensive woes are heightened by the absence of Stevan Jovetic, Pietro Pellegri and Willem Geubbels. Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic is also out.
Right-back Djibril Sidibe has joined Everton on loan, meaning new addition Ruben Aguilar could be thrust straight into the action.
Possible Monaco starting XI: Lecomte; Aguilar, Jemerson, Panzo, Ballo-Toure; Fabregas, Henrichs, Troare; Martins, Foster, Lopes
|Defenders||Rafael, Kone, Denayer, Andersen, Marcelo, Dubois, Tete|
|Midfielders||Cheikh, Aouar, Lucas, Mendes, Tousart|
|Forwards||Terrier, Dembele, Traore, Memphis, Cornet|
Lyon have few such selection headaches. Indeed, they may be able to name a full-strength squad for the opening match of the campaign. Marcelo has been troubled by injury in pre-season but probably would not have started in any case, while Martin Terrier has overcome both mumps and an adductor problem to feature.
Possible Lyon starting XI: Lopes; Dubios, Andersen, Denayer, Kone; Tousart, Thiago Mendes, Aouar; Traore, Dembele, Depay
Betting & Match Odds
Lyon are priced at 11/8 favourites at Bet365. Monaco can be backed at 2/1, while the draw is on offer at 23/10.
Paris Saint-Germain may be favourites to run away with the Ligue 1 title once more, but behind them is a pack of clubs hungry to reach the Champions League. Foremost among these are Monaco and Lyon, who will raise the curtain on the French league season at Stade Louis II on Friday.
In their own way, both teams had disappointing 2018-19 campaigns. Lyon showed incredible inconsistency over the season and rather limped to a third-place finish, despite some formidable performances, yet Monaco were simply woeful as they marginally missed the relegation playoff.
While the side from the principality have not changed tack significantly over the summer, making just a couple of signings – Benjamin Lecomte and Ruben Aguilar, both from Montpellier – a revolution has begun in Lyon, where club legend Juninho has returned to head up the sporting side of the club.
On the field, Lyon will see changes, with Nabil Fekir, Ferland Mendy and Tanguy Ndombele a trio of high-profile summer departures.
New head coach Sylvinho is slowly getting to grips with his charges, having experienced a mixed bag of summer results and performances, which saw them overcome Arsenal thanks to a couple of Moussa Dembele goals, yet slump against Liverpool and Bournemouth.
Monaco’s steadier approach, meanwhile, wrought them 1-0 pre-season wins over Valencia, Porto and Sampdoria, with it evident that they will be harder to beat than last term, even if they are lacking a spectacular offensive edge currently.
“Work is the most important thing,” Jardim said. “There are many examples of teams having a bad season but picking up in the next one. It’s a new league and a new challenge. We must go match by match, and it starts on Friday against Lyon.
“Lyon are a big team that always has the ambition to play for the top places. It won’t be easy, but we’ll do our best to win this match.”
For either side, victory would be a welcome way to start a campaign in which success is not guaranteed for on the banks of the Rhone or on the shores of the Mediterranean.