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Massive French battle on tap for the weekend: Can Monaco topple PSG?

Feb 7, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

Even impressive goal celebrations aren't likely to tempt Wenger away from Arsenal AP

It’s money versus money, and it may very well decide Ligue 1. In fact, the way Paris Saint-Germain has looked so far this year, even a decisive AS Monaco win this Sunday at Stade Louis II may not be enough.

But, goodness will it be fun to watch.

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PSG has a roster loaded for bear and have lost just once in 23 Ligue 1 matches this season, boasting a record of 16W-6D-1L. Their high-flying attack — lead by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Lucas Moura — is a huge problem for defenses, but their miserly defending has been superb. Ligue 1 squads have managed just 15 goals against PSG, which has pitched 12 clean sheets.

And yet, for all those marks on their ledger, PSG has a mere five-point lead on new big spenders AS Monaco. Promoted just last season, Les Rouge et Blanc has allowed just one more goal than their Sunday rivals. And while they haven’t been as high-scoring, especially with Radamel Falcao out, Monaco still has plenty worth fearing. In addition to nine-goal man Emmanuel Riviere,  there’s new loanee Dimitar Berbatov and Colombia wizard James Rodriguez.

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Monaco captain Eric Abidal says it’s all about stopping Zlatan, and it’s hard to argue that point. But the names that will flash across the screen while monitoring this game may shock those who pity or ignore the French game: Alex, Carvalho, Thiago Silva, Mountinho, Cabaye… the list goes on and on.

If there’s a time to watch French football… it’s Sunday. If you’re looking for a prediction, I’ve got one for you: 1-1, with Rodriguez matching Cabaye/Zlatan.

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