Chelsea target Falcao can make Monaco tick against Nantes

Last year’s French Ligue 2 champions Monaco outspent every club in Europe bar Real Madrid over the summer, with billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev funding eight signings at a rumoured cost of £145m.

Results haven’t quite reflected that outlay as yet, with Claudio Ranieri’s charges currently eight points behind leaders and champions PSG in third place.

Residents of the tiny principality – which is known for attracting yacht-mooring international playboys and high-stakes punters – have seen their football team win just once in their last five matches and Monaco slipped below Lille after a 2-0 loss at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy recently.

They visit fellow promotees Nantes, who are in good form and could overtake their visitors by winning at home, but Monaco have only been outscored by PSG so far this term and are taken to fire themselves back on track with a victory by the banks of the Loire.

Monaco to win @ 6/5

Despite their poor recent run, Ranieri’s men can close the gap between them and the Ligue 1 champions to just five points with a win against Nantes.

The Red and Whites have been excellent at times on the road this term, with the defeat in Lille their first away from their own patch in the league since promotion at the end of last term.

Ranieri is slowly integrating his mob-handful of new talent into the first team, with summer signing from Sevilla Geoffrey Kondogbia forcing his way into the side recently following a deadline day switch.

£60m former Porto pair James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho have laid-on nine assists between them so far this term and with both set to start at the Stade de la Beaujoire, Monaco should have plenty of chances to breach Nantes stout backline.

Radamel Falcao to score the first goal @ 7/2

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho missed out on the Colombian’s signature over the summer and is rumoured to be preparing a January mega-bid for Falcao, with rumours abounding that the striker is unsettled in Ligue 1.

Nevertheless, Falcao didn’t leave his shooting boots at old club Atletico Madrid – where he bagged 52 strikes in 68 La Liga games – and has scored almost half of his side’s 21 league goals this season.

A 27th-minute effort helped rescue a point last time out against Evian and with Moutinho and compatriot Rodriguez sure to provide good service, Falcao can break the deadlock for the third time this season here.

Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco to score at any time @ 9/4

The latest Belgian footballer grabbing headlines on the continent is yet to make a senior international appearance, but Ferreira-Carrasco must be in with a chance of making Marc Wilmots’ 2014 World Cup squad based on his performances so far this term.

The 20-year-old has scored three Ligue 1 goals in his last five appearances under Ranieri and his ever-present status for Monaco this term makes him an excellent price to get on the scoresheet again here.