OUR man in France is Julien Laurens and he's looking at Monaco v Lyon on Sunday..
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.
Monaco v Lyon (Sun 8pm)
This is the big game of the weekend in Ligue 1. Monaco welcomes Lyon at the Stade Louis II on Sunday evening. It is fourth against second with just a point between them in a huge encounter in the race for second place.
Monaco got a good draw last weekend in Marseille (2-2) and then qualified for the final on the League Cup in midweek by beating Montpellier in the semi-final (2-0).
Manager Leonardo Jardim has all his other players available and will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation once again. Monaco lost away at Lyon in the reverse fixture at the last second of the game and they want their revenge. They also can’t afford any mistakes anymore and can’t drop more points, especially at home.
So they are under pressure before this game like they were away at Marseille last weekend. Monaco have lost only once at home all season and it was against PSG. However, they have not beaten Lyon in their last three encounters (one loss last season and two draws) at Louis II.
The visitors are travelling to Monaco on the back of their worst game of the season last weekend away at Bordeaux. They were well beaten by the home side and were really poor. They need to bounce back and produce a much better performance on Sunday otherwise Monaco will beat them.
Every point counts now until the end of the season in this fantastic race for second place. Lyon are level on points with Marseille and just one clear of Monaco. Manager Bruno Genesio has a full squad available for this game. The competition for places is tough in the squad at the moment, in every line.
He should line up his team in a 4-3-3 formation with a bit of a free role for Nabil Fekir. Tangy Ndombele has been a revelation in midfield this season. He was impressive against Paris for example. His battle with Fabinho on Sunday will be key. Up front, Lyon will look to use the runs of Mariano Diaz. Lyon didn't play in midweek. They also feel the pressure of this game.