Ligue 1 Games and Players to Watch This Weekend
Although some major European leagues are yet to kick off, the French Ligue 1 season is already two rounds old. Today, there are three tantalising fixtures for your delectation, featuring both of this summer's big spenders.
AS Monaco FC vs. Montpellier Herault SC
Date: Sunday, Aug. 18
Venue: Stade Louis II, Monaco
Kickoff: 2 p.m. Local time
All eyes are on Monaco this season. Claudio Ranieri's newly assembled team is seen as the most likely challenger to Laurent Blanc's PSG side. Monaco began the season well, defeating Bordeaux 2-0 on the opening weekend.
This time they go face to face with Montpellier, who themselves beat PSG to the title just 17 months ago.
Player to Watch: Radamel Falcao scored on his Ligue 1 debut last week and will be looking to replicate the feat in his first game at the Stade Louis II. The race for the golden boot between Falcao and the PSG pair of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani promises to be just as exciting as the title race itself.
Date: Sunday Aug. 18
Venue: Stade du Moustoir, Lorient
Kickoff: 5 p.m. Local time
Like Monaco, FC Nantes have just won promotion to Ligue 1. Unlike Monaco, they do not have enormous resources at their disposal.
They're up against another club who regularly punch above their weight: Lorient. Lorient finished in a creditable eight position last season.
This match will prove a good test of Nantes' Ligue 1 credentials.
Player to Watch: If Nantes are to have a positive campaign, then they will need Filip Djordjevic to be at his best. The Serbian forward was key to their promotion-winning campaign and will be looking to carry that form in to the top flight.
Paris Saint-Germain vs. AJ Ajaccio
Date: Sunday Aug. 18
Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris
Kickoff: 9 p.m. Local time
Laurent Blanc faces a nigh-impossible task at PSG this season. He has far from first choice for the role and is likely to come under pressure after even just one poor result. This home tie with Ajaccio is a must-win for a club of PSG's stature—especially having dropped points away to Montpellier last week.
Player to Watch: This looks set to be a big season for PSG's Brazilian winger Lucas Moura. With a World Cup in his home country on the horizon, Lucas will be eager to get his domestic campaign off to a flying start.
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