Falcao-less Monaco bids to put pressure on PSG

Leonardo Jardim's side dropped two points with a 1-1 home draw against Montpellier before the international break to slip three points adrift of PSG at the top of the table.

Monaco will miss the services of Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, who has been in stunning form so far this season, scoring 12 goals in just eight league outings.   -  AP

French champion Monaco will make the tricky trip to Lyon on Friday without red-hot striker Radamel Falcao, as it looks to keep up the pressure on Ligue 1 leader Paris Saint-Germain.

Leonardo Jardim's side dropped two points with a 1-1 home draw against Montpellier before the international break to slip three points adrift of PSG at the top of the table.

Colombian Falcao has been in stunning form so far this season, scoring 12 goals in just eight league outings, but his midweek efforts in helping his country qualify for next year's World Cup have ruled him out of Friday's game.

"He played last night, then there are the different trips (to get back to Monaco)," Jardim said on Wednesday.

"To try to play against Lyon could kill him. He will not play. In fact, his physical condition doesn't allow him to play two matches in 48 hours."

Falcao will play in the World Cup finals for the first time in Russia, after setting up James Rodriguez's goal as Colombia booked its place with a 1-1 draw in Peru.

"He deserves to play in a World Cup, he is a great player of a very high quality," added Jardim.

"I congratulated him for the qualification, but my management of Falcao won't change. I'll do everything I can to keep him at his best."

Despite Falcao's early goal, Monaco was far from their best in its last league match against Montpellier and will have to bounce back with Argentinian Guido Carrillo likely to start up front.

Lyon has started to struggle in recent weeks after a bright start to the season and is winless in its last three matches, including back-to-back 3-3 draws against Angers and Dijon.

Bruno Genesio's men will be without centre-back Marcelo, after the Brazilian's bizarre sending off against Angers, when he was given a straight red card for accidentally knocking a yellow card out of the referee's hand.

PSG brimming with confidence

PSG pays a visit to lowly Dijon on Saturday with key forwards Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani boosted after helping their countries qualify for the World Cup in midweek.

World-record signing Neymar failed to score in Brazil's final two World Cup qualifiers, so he will be desperate to terrorise a Dijon defence which has already shipped 17 goals in Ligue 1 this term.

Mbappe came off the bench as France confirmed its place in Russia with a 2-1 win over Belarus, while Cavani scored as Uruguay sealed second in South American qualifying, behind Brazil, by beating Bolivia 4-2.

Unai Emery's side may have half an eye on Wednesday's Champions League game against Anderlecht in Brussels, but should have more than enough to continue its unbeaten start to the season in all competitions.

The capital-city club is brimming with confidence after a stunning start to the campaign, which it continued by thrashing Bordeaux 6-2 a fortnight ago.

But centre-back Thiago Silva is likely to miss the matches at Dijon and Anderlecht after suffering a thigh muscle injury while on Brazil duty.

Under-fire Lille coach Marcelo Bielsa sees his team host Troyes as it continues its search for a first win since the opening weekend, after its last match at Amiens was abandoned when a stadium barrier collapsed, injuring 29 people.

On Sunday, Claudio Ranieri's Nantes defend a seven-game unbeaten run at Bordeaux, while third-placed Marseille bids for a fourth straight win against newly-promoted Strasbourg.

Ligue 1 fixtures (all times GMT)

Friday

Lyon v Monaco (1845)

Saturday

Dijon v Paris Saint-Germain (1500), Caen v Angers, Guingamp v Rennes, Lille v Troyes, Saint-Etienne v Metz, Toulouse v Amiens (all 1800)

Sunday

Bordeaux v Nantes (1300), Montpellier v Nice (1500), Strasbourg v Marseille (1900)

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