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Christophe Galtier’s side will look to start quickly and Monaco could fall behind early on.
Back PSG to be winning this match after 15 minutes (+220)
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The season is only a few weeks old but Paris Saint-Germain already have one hand on the Ligue 1 title. That was probably the case before a ball had been kicked, but a poor start to the season by Christophe Galtier’s side would have given the chasing pack – which contains the likes of Lyon, Marseille, and Rennes, and Monaco – a glimmer of hope. In fact, PSG have flown out of the traps and hit the ground sprinting. It is a matter of how many points they will win the league by, rather than whether or not they will win it.
So far PSG have a 100 percent record, having brushed aside the challenges posed by Clermont (5-0), Montpellier (5-2), and Lille (7-1). It is extraordinary that PSG could have beaten Lille, French champions as recently as 2021, by such a scoreline, but that is the unfortunate nature of Ligue 1 right now. This is a division that contains a giant club with virtually unlimited money, and several decent but modest teams that can no longer compete with a side that is in effect bankrolled by the state of Qatar.
This lack of competition is not a positive development for the French game, but PSG will not mind. And putting the bigger issues to one side, it was impossible not to be impressed by their dazzling display against Lille last time out. PSG took the lead within nine seconds – the second-quickest goal in French soccer history – after an elaborate and well-worked routine from kick-off. They were 4-0 up by half-time, with Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Achraf Hakimi joining Kylian Mbappe on the scoresheet.
Crucially, Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe are playing like a cohesive front three rather than a trio of superstar individuals. Greater challenges lie ahead, not least in the Champions League, but Galtier has made a bright start at the Parc des Princes. Many wondered whether he had a big enough personality to handle a locker room full of egos, but his PSG team are playing much better soccer than they ever did under Mauricio Pochettino, his predecessor.
Many of the best online sportsbooks now offer a market along the lines of ‘Ligue 1 winner without PSG’. It is essentially a way to pick which team will finish as runners-up behind the inevitable champions, and Monaco – one of only two sides to deny PSG the title since 2013 – are among the contenders this time around.
Their start to the campaign has been mixed, though. A 2-1 victory over Strasbourg on the opening weekend was impressive, with Philippe Clement rotating his XI with an eye on the Champions League qualifier against PSV. But Monaco then lost that match to end their group stage hopes, before drawing 1-1 with Rennes and suffering a 4-1 thrashing by Lens on matchday three.
There is one fewer Champions League spot up for grabs in Ligue 1 than the Premier League, the Bundesliga, Serie A, or La Liga. With PSG certain to claim one of them, the race for the top three will be hotly contested. Monaco cannot afford for this dip in form to become a slump, even though we are still at the start of the season.
Yet the principality club can still be optimistic. They have spent some of the proceeds from the sale of Aurelien Tchouameni on Breel Embolo, Takumi Minamino, and Mohamed Camara, and they have managed to keep hold of Wissam Ben Yedder, who will hope to challenge Mbappe for the Ligue 1 top scorer prize.
As one would expect given their results so far this season, bettors have to dig a little deeper to find value when having a wager on a PSG match. Simply betting the moneyline will bring minimal returns, so it is best avoided, especially when the game in question is taking place at the Parc des Princes.
For Sunday’s encounter, we think the ‘15 minutes’ market is worth exploring. PSG have led after a quarter of an hour in two of their three fixtures up to now. Roared on by a fan base that appears to be back on board with the project after a frustrating season last time out, PSG will look to make a fast start this weekend.
That is particularly the case since there is a midweek round of fixtures on the horizon in France, with PSG set to visit Toulouse on Wednesday. A few days after that, Galtier’s side will travel to Nantes. It would therefore be beneficial to have this game wrapped up as quickly as possible. Back PSG to hold the lead with 15 minutes on the clock.
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|Teams||PSG vs Monaco|
|Location||Parc des Princes, Paris, France|
|Time||Sunday, 28 August 2022, 14.45 AM EST|
|How to watch||beIN Sports|
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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