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Will AS Monaco drive away with the Ligue 1 title this season?

Thursday 16th February 2017
If you haven't paid attention to Ligue 1 so far this season you might be surprised to know that PSG are not at the top of the league. AS Monaco have been commanding the French league for some time this season.

So how have Monaco overtook PSG for the top spot you may ask? First, we can look at the squad they have.  They have a key striker in that of Radamel Falcao. So far this season the Columbian has 16 goals in 19 league appearances. They also have Joao Moutinho, known previously playing for F.C. Porto and Sporting Lisbon. The 30-year-old is enjoying his best football yet.

If I told you the rest of the squad, you probably wouldn't know most of them. The reason being that the squad is so young. In the whole 28 man squad of Monaco, the average age is 24.

One of the youngest players at the age of 18 is Kylian Mbappe-Lottin. Not only is he one of the youngest of the players but he also has a lot of potential. He's scored seven goals so far in 17 appearances. Most recently he played upfront alongside Falcao against FC Metz and scored a hat-trick. The Frenchman is definitely one to watch out for and many big European clubs will be looking at him.
So far this season Monaco have scored an outstanding 75 goals in 25 games. That's three goals every game. They sit on top of the ladder, three points ahead of PSG. They also have a far greater goal difference on +52 while PSG are on +32.

With the success so far this season you'd think many people would be watching Monaco. AS Monaco play in the Stade Louis II which holds just over 18,500. In the 13 home games played this season they are averaging just over 8,500 spectators per game. Pretty low for a team running the league this season.

So why have Monaco been so successful so far? They've had goals come from everywhere. You could say they've got goals coming out of their ears. Monaco have 13 different goal scorers so far in Ligue 1 this season. Out of those thirteen, eight of them have scored five or more. Between four strikers, Falcao, Germain, Carillo and Mbappe-Lottin, they have summed up 38 goals so far.

Their next game is up against S.C. Bastia who are struggling and are second from bottom. Bastia hasn't won a league game since the middle of December and this fixture could be quite embarrassing if Monaco turn up at their best.

Leonardo Jardim's side will be looking to carry on their great run of form and storm the league. If Monaco can go ahead and win the French League this season it will be a relief for many French fans. The past four years have seen PSG win the title consecutively.

Monaco had great success in Europe so far this season getting through the group stages of the Champions League against Tottenham Hotspur, Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow. After advancing to the last 16, they got drawn to Manchester City. It will be one of the toughest fixtures this season for them. The first leg will be at Man City and the second at the Stade Louis II.

So can Monaco win Ligue 1? Can they advance through the last 16 of the Champions League? It's just a great example of what such a young squad can do.

 
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.


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