AS Monaco slowly look like they’re getting their groove back after a shaky start to the season. The French Club have won three games in a row and are beginning to look as good as they have ever been under Philippe Clement.
You can see more on their rise in form and other betting odds on the bookmaker review by Overlyzer.
The Belgian coach is in his first full campaign at the club after arriving in January and has had to navigate through some changes on the team. Monaco lost one of their most important players in Aurelien Tchouameni last summer to Real Madrid but in return, they gained €100 million which they spent strengthening the squad.
Mohammed Kamara (from RB Leipzig), Takumi Minamino (from Liverpool), Breel Embolo (from Borrusia Mönchengladbach), Malang Sarr (on loan from Chelsea), Vanderdson (From Gremio) and Thomas Didillom (on loan from Cercle Brugge) were signed over the summer.
Slow start to the season
Monaco didn’t enjoy a great start to the season as they lost to PSV Eindhoven in the UEFA Champions League qualifying stages and won only one of their first seven games. But it was during this run that Monaco turned a corner in their season.
They went away to Paris Saint-Germain, a match where everyone thought they would be thrashed in and got a well-deserved draw at the home of the in-form French champions.
The match saw the Monaco manager change the team’s formation from the back four system they had been using till that point to a back three/five to match their opponents and the team put on their best performance.
“I asked today for solidarity, character, and also to play with a high press, in particular by defending in one against one against the three stars in attack. The whole team has done a lot of work in this respect,” Phillipe Clement said after the match.
“They showed that by taking a point here, you can take points everywhere, and that is very important for the future to have this as a reference match,” The Belgian continued.
The next game against Troyes saw them go down a man and lose 4-2. It was a result that was displeasing but not damning as Monaco continued to attack and try to create chances.
The following three games in all competitions have led to three wins and the change of formation to a back three/five has seen the team become more solid in defence. They’ve kept two clean sheets in their three wins so far and have seemingly discovered a foundation to build their season on.
After their recent 2-1 victory over Lyon, Phillipe praised the players and their solidarity as well as pointing out that improvements in the team’s performance are still to come.
“In recent weeks, new players have arrived. We need to create new automations between them, and I see it more and more. The collective performance is better than last week, for example, even if it is not yet perfect. I think everyone who watched this match had fun with two teams that wanted to win. To win, we need solidarity, but also talent. We can still improve in finishing, using the ball or transitioning against teams that take risks.”
Key players so far
The Brazillian has been arguably their best player this season coming off the left side. So far this season he has four assists for the team and has been good as a left back or a left wing back. He has created the most chances (11) for Monaco in the League and his more attacking role at wing back saw him get two assists in their last game. The 25-year-old will continue to be crucial as Monaco continue their resurgence.
The new signing has started nearly every game Monaco has played this season and has created the second most chances (10) in the League for his team. So far, he is the team’s top scorer with three goals in all competitions but the best is yet to come from the versatile forward who will be vital to any success his team achieves this season.
The German shot-stopper has averaged 5.1 saves per game in the League which is more than any other keeper. His performance against PSG was particularly notable because his saves in crucial moments meant his team were able to secure a point at the Parc de Princess.
Though the team has only kept two clean sheets in all competitions this season, those shutouts have come in their last three wins and Nubel will be hoping to keep a lot more as the season continues.
What to expect for the rest of the season
Monaco are in a good spell at the moment but it’s also important to add that they have won all three games by a single goal margin which means they still have to rely more on what they are capable of on the defensive end while their offensive output improves.
Wissam Ben Yedder who was their top scorer in the league last season with 25 goals, is yet to find the net this year. They need the 32-year-old to find some goal scoring form and now would be the best time for him to do so.
Phillipe Clement has reiterated the fact that his team is yet to show their full potential with the new signings still bedding in but it is clear that progress is being made and AS Monaco, who currently sit in seventh place in Ligue 1, will continue to improve and eventually join the race for UEFA Champions League qualification.