While AS Monaco's French and European opponents for next season are not yet known, the calendar suddenly got a lot clearer on Saturday night as the Red & Whites secured third spot in Ligue 1.
28/29 July (A) - 4/5 August (R): Q3 for starters
On Tuesday 28 or Wednesday 29 July, ten days before the league gets under way, Leonardo Jardim and his men will play the first leg of the third qualifying round for the UEFA Champions League (Q3). The return leg is scheduled for the following week, on Tuesday 4 or Wednesday 5 August.
7/8/9 August: Ligue 1 kicks off
The Monegasques' will get their Ligue 1 campaign under way a few days later, probably on Saturday 8 or Sunday 9 August. The European calendar seems to rule out the Red & Whites starting on Friday 7 in the early fixture of the first week of Ligue 1 action.
18/19 August (A) - 25/26 August (R): hopefully a play-off...
The second matchday of the new L1 season is scheduled for the weekend of Saturday 15 August, and will be followed on Tuesday 18 or Wednesday 19 by the first leg of a possible play-off in the UEFA Champions League, assuming AS Monaco qualifies from Q3. That game and the second leg, planned for Tuesday 25 or Wednesday 26 August, will sandwich Ligue 1 matchday 3 pn the weekend of Saturday 22 August.
6 to 8 competitive games before August is out
The last fixture of August will be Ligue 1 matchday 4 to be played on the weekend of Saturday 29th. In the worst case scenario, that will be AS Monaco's sixth competitive game of the season. If all goes to plan, it will be their eighth. The Red & Whites are already looking at a minimum of 46 matches in 2015-2016, not including a potential play-off and group phase of the UEFA Champions League or Europa League, or domestic cup runs.
A minimum of 46 to 52 matches in 2015-2016
If the club are involved in European competition in the autumn, that figure will rise to a minimum of between 46 and 52 competitive matches for the Monegasques. So the season ahead could well prove to be at least as busy as the last campaign. But for that to happen, this summer will need to be a real scorcher on the pitch, as well as off it...