OUR man in France is Julien Laurens and he's looking at the Friday night game.

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.

Strasbourg v Monaco (Friday, 7.45pm)

Monaco are in great form at the moment. They are unbeaten in their last thirteen games in Ligue 1. Their last defeat was back in November away at Nantes.

They are second in the table, too far behind Paris, but they now have a four points lead over Marseille in third and seven over Lyon in fourth. So they are looking strong favourites to finish second this season.

Their 4-2-3-1 formation is looking very good at the moment. They also received a big boost this week with Radamel Falcao back in the squad. He should be on the bench on Friday but it is great for the team to have him back. Kamil Glik is back from suspension as well and will come back in the team.

Stevan Jovetic should start up front in place of Falcao and he has done very well in the last few games with key goals. Thomas Lemar, who now plays in a number 10 position, is also looking very good. Monaco only have the 4th best away record this season but they are usually good away at Strasbourg with two wins in their last two visits.

This is a huge game for Strasbourg though. They have only won one of their last six league matches. They look low on confidence and have a few players missing (Goncalves, Foulquier, Mangane). Manager Thierry Laurey remains positive.

His team is 15th in the table but only three points ahead of the bottom three. They need points and they have been excellent at home this season in the league with a win against Paris and a draw with Marseille for example. However, I think Monaco have so much momentum that they will win on Friday.

Julien's Tips

  • Strasbourg 1, Monaco 2 (7-1, Unibet)
  • Lopes to score first (15-2)
  • Monaco win and both teams to score (47-20, Unibet)
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