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.
Monaco v Bordeaux (Fri 7.45pm)
This is the big game of the weekend in Ligue 1. Champs Monaco dropped two points in the last few minutes last week in Toulouse (3-3). They are still second in the table though after Marseille lost and Lyon also drew.
They have been very good at home (11 wins, two draws and just one loss) so they are confident before this game. They have Keita Baldé back in the squad as well after his injury. However, Radamel Falcao who has missed the last three games is still out. He is not ready yet to come back in the squad. It is a big loss again for Monaco. Kamil Glik is suspended and will be a big miss too.
The man in form at the moment for l’ASM is Rony Lopes. He was outstanding last weekend. But Monaco don’t have a good home record in the league against Bordeaux. They lost two seasons ago and last year was their only win in Bordeaux in the last ten visits! Monaco will want to strengthen their second place in the table and put pressure on Marseille and Lyon who only play on Sunday.
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This is also a huge game for Bordeaux. After three wins in his first three games, new manager Gus Poyet only drew with Nice last weekend (0-0) and lost in Marseille the previous one (1-0). His team needs to bounce back on Friday. But once again they will be without their best player, Malcom who is still suspended. It is a huge blow. The club lost an appeal to have him available this weekend.
Meité, the midfielder on loan from Monaco, is not eligible while Sankharé is injured. Bordeaux should play in a 4-3-3 formation and will consider a point as a good result as well away in Monaco. I still think that without Malcom, Bordeaux have lost a lot of offensive power. Monaco will win and I think Rony Lopes will score first at 8.00. My best bet is Monaco to win without conceding a goal at 2.85.