MARK O'HAIRE'S (@MarkOHaire) European NAP returns on Sunday with France's Ligue 1 in focus.
Bordeaux v Monaco | Sunday 26th August 2018, 16:00 | BT Sport
The Ligue 1 season might only be two weeks old but already there’s been a managerial sacking and a club plunged into crisis.
Fan unrest, player indiscipline and the threat of relegation have hung over Bordeaux all too often in recent seasons but head coach Gus Poyet appeared to guide Les Girondins to relative serenity on the pitch after arriving in January.
However, with key players being pilfered from his squad throughout the summer and Gaetan Laborde being sold without his knowledge, the Uruguayan let rip at the club’s hierarchy and promptly found himself suspended from his role.
Thierry Henry has been lined up as Bordeaux’s big name replacement but should any deal be completed before Sunday, the former French superstar striker could be dealing with a difficult player mutiny.
Initially, the Bordeaux squad refused to train last Friday, a sign of the support that Poyet’s intense leadership had managed to generate. The mood has simmered slightly but on-field progress remains questionable with a dour 2-1 defeat against Toulouse and a dull 0-0 Europa League draw with Gent.
Les Girondins are pointless in Ligue 1 and things don’t get any easier this weekend with Monaco arriving on Sunday afternoon. And punters should be encouraged to snap up the 79/100 (Marathon) on Les Monegasques in the Draw No Bet market.
Last term the hosts were beaten in seven of their 10 tussles against sides that finished in the top-five, including home and away losses to Monaco. Overall, Bordeaux returned just W2-D3-L4 when welcoming top-half teams and despite a summer overhaul, the high-flying visitors should be well-equipped here.
Monaco were clinical when winning 3-1 away at Nantes on the opening weekend and head coach Leonardo Jardim has overseen W23-D9-L7 in away day outings over the past two campaigns. The principality club have failed to score in just four of those fixtures and therefore offer punters fantastic value.
Bordeaux v Monaco – Monaco draw no bet (79/100 Marathon)