Villarreal vs Monaco by Rahul

Tip based on Asian handicap. Not familiar with handicaps? Read our Asian handicap betting guide
Villarreal
VS
Monaco
Villarreal are back in the Champions League qualifying stage after being absent for many years and are looking to take on the team from the Principality in France in this qualifying stage with a position in the first round proper at stake. Villarreal have been in turmoil heading into this encounter. They have played 8 friendlies, and won just 2 of them in 90 minutes, with 3 losses on the trot against Deportivo, Porto and Leganes. This poor run of form has seen their manager Marcelino let go due to disharmony in the team and defensive minded coach Escriba has been nominated in his place with his last job seeing Getafe relegated. He also comes with bad news that several key starters like Bakumbu, Dos Santos, Cheryshev, Sansone and Soldado all missing, who would have been extremely instrumental to help them score on the offensive end while Victor Ruiz is suspended. They also lost Alphonse Areola, Eric Bailly and Dennis Suarez in the off-season from their starting lineup of last year.

 

Monaco on the other hand have had Jardem at the helm for many years now, and he has built the team as a strong defensive unit with good counter-attacking skills. That saw them go back to 3rd place last year, without any major signings. Monaco will be a far more ready squad after playing in the 2nd round qualifying where they beat Fenerbahce over 2 legs by an aggregate score of 4-3. Prior to that they had played enough quality friendlies against teams like Zenit, Sporting, Napoli, Basel before they kicked off their Ligue 1 campaign at the weekend. They came back from a 2-0 deficit to a 2-2 draw, which would have been the ideal result as they rested key players like Bernardo Silva, Joao Coutinho, Adama Traore for this critical mid-week fixture.

 

Both teams will look to take advantage in this opening leg, but I feel the more organised and better prepared side in Monaco should be worth backing to hold on at least to a draw as compared to the uncertainty that Villarreal posses. I am backing Monaco or Draw in this game.

 

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Tip Bookmaker Odds * Stake Result
Monaco AH:+0.5 Pinnacle 1.90 6 1-2 WON (+5.4 units)
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
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