OUR man in France is Julien Laurens and he's done his homework to provide an a preview of Monaco's trip to Bordeaux on Saturday.
Julien is a London-based sports correspondent for Le Parisien and a veritable French football expert. He writes in French and English for a number of esteemed publications and is a regular on BT Sport as well as contributing to Unibet.
Last night he correctly predicted an easy win for PSG at home to Nice and here he looks at Bordeaux v Monaco and tomorrow will preview games at Lyon and Lille.
Bordeaux v Monaco (4pm)
This is an interesting game on Saturday afternoon between Bordeaux, sixth in the table, and Monaco who are second with only five points between them. This is tricky trip away from home for Monaco, especially without Radamel Falcao, the captain and best striker in Ligue 1, who is injured.
It is a huge loss for Monaco to be without the Colombian who has scored 13 goals already this season, a goal every 57 minutes. He has netted half of Monaco’s goals in the league. He has been in great form and it is a blow he is not there.
He will be replaced by Keita Balde up front in the 4-2-3-1 that manager Leonardo Jardim should line up with on Saturday. Jovetic is also out for this game, like Kongolo and Ghezzal, while Sidibé is doubtful.
So Jardim will have to tinker once again to play a competitive side. Monaco have a huge game in the Champions League coming up against Besiktas away from home but this is an equally important one.
After just one win in their last five matches in all competitions this is a must-win game for l’ASM. But they have already lost two matches away from home this season in Ligue 1 so they are hit and miss. They won 4-0 away at Bordeaux last season but usually struggle over there.
The home side will host Monaco on the back of a terrible result at Amiens last weekend where they were beaten by the newly-promoted side (1-0). It was an embarrassing result and performance by the Bordelais and Jocelyn Gourvennec, the manager, gave his players the hairdryer afterwards.
Sthey also need to bounce back after that defeat. Malcolm, their best player, is back in the starting line-up. Sabaly could be back too and you can expect Bordeaux to be really up for this game to make up for the Amiens disappointment.