AS Monaco’s titanic top-two clash with Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 on Sunday has the potential to be a title decider. Laurent Blanc’s men come into the game with a five-point lead at the top of Le Championnat, but Les Monegasques can close that gap to just two points with a win.
PSG can pull eight points clear if they emerge triumphant though and that gap, with just 14 matches remaining, could prove insurmountable for Claudio Ranieri’s side.
The stakes are high ahead of the encounter and, although there will still be plenty of talent on show all over the pitch, there will be two major absences.
Monaco’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao has been out injured for the past few weeks and is set to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury picked up last month. PSG’s prolific Uruguayan marksman Edinson Cavani has also been ruled out after suffering a hamstring problem in the 2-0 win over Girondins de Bordeaux last week.
Despite that, both sides are unbeaten in the league in 2014 and come into this clash in better shape than they approached their first meeting of the season back in September.
PSG are in better form, while Monaco are now crucially more familiar with one another thanks to their relatively new side developing some chemistry together.
Here are some of the key battles that will shape Sunday’s encounter at the Stade Louis II.