Seeking to sustain a title challenge having come so close yet so far last season, Monaco did not kick off the 2021-22 season in ideal fashion, playing out a 1-1 draw with Nantes despite huffing and puffing for the winner throughout the 90 minutes.
Niko Kovac’s side went ahead after Caio Henrique’s pinpoint delivery found the boot of Gelson Martins for the Portuguese attacker to slot home, but on the stroke of half time, Jean-Charles Castelletto rose highest to head home from a corner and force Les Monegasques to settle for a point.
However, Monaco have enjoyed better fortunes during their early Champions League battles, as a 3-1 midweek second-leg win over Sparta Prague saw them advance 5-1 on aggregate and set up a playoff round tie with Ukrainian powerhouses Shakhtar Donetsk.
With the two legs of that continental tie set to take place on August 17 and 24, Kovac will factor that in with regards to team selection for their Ligue 1 encounters, but the Monaco boss will not need reminding that early-season slip-ups proved fatal in their title bid last term.
Les Monegasques have won nine of their last 11 Ligue 1 games and boast five consecutive clean sheets on the road, though, while Lorient have suffered four defeats in a row to Monaco at the Stade de Moustoir.
Lorient Ligue 1 form:
Monaco Ligue 1 form:
Monaco form (all competitions):