Ligue 1 in France gets underway with Monaco Nantes, while champion Sporting CP gets Primeira going in Portugal
Oh, how I have missed thee.
It is early August, which means that domestic football is back across Europe.
This weekend is a big one around the continent, with the EFL Championship kicking off, as well as the F.A. Community Shield, in England. While there is one game in the Championship Friday, I will head to Portugal and France as two quality teams begin their domestic campaigns.
Sporting CP broke through in 2020-21 to win its first league title since 2002, and in the process broke the duopoly at the top of the Portuguese Primeira. Porto (11) and Benfica (seven) had won the last 18 titles. The green side of Lisbon kicks off its title defense against newly-promoted side Vizela, in what could be a showcase event for both teams.
In France, the closest title race in a long time ended with Lille as champions over PSG by a single point. But AS Monaco was in the race until the penultimate weekend, and pipped Lyon for the final UEFA Champions League spot. Monaco went to Prague and beat Sparta 2-0 Tuesday to get a leg up in its Champions League tie, and now opens up the Ligue 1 season against Nantes at home.
I like both favorites here, and I expect both teams to have very good campaigns.
Check for schedules
FRANCE LIGUE 1
Monaco (-240) vs. Nantes (+575), draw (+370), 3 p.m. EDT, (beIN and Fubo.TV)
PORTUGAL PRIMEIRA LIGA NOS
Sporting Lisbon (-420) vs. Vizela (+1000), draw (+475), 3:15 p.m. EDT (GOL TV and Fubo.TV)
Sporting halftime fulltime (-132)
Sporting -1.75 (+100)
Monaco -1.25 AH (-103)
BONUS PLUS MONEY PLAY:
Sporting over 2.5 goals (+130)