FRENCH LIGUE 1

Stade Louis II, Monaco

Attendance: 8186

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AS Monaco

  • Radamel Falcao 6' PEN

1 - 0

FT

AS Monaco v Lorient: Preview

Lorient midfielder Mathieu Coutadeur believes his former club Monaco are already showing signs they could be crowned Ligue 1 champions this season.

After winning promotion from Ligue 2 last term, and on the back of a £110million summer spending spree, coach Claudio Ranieri's side have hit the ground running.

Monaco head into the weekend at the top of the table after winning three and drawing one of their opening four matches, with Lorient not expecting to pose too much of a threat on Sunday, especially as they have lost on six of their last seven visits to the Stade Louis II.

Coutadeur, who played for Monaco from 2009 to 2011 before switching to Lorient, said: ``This is a team that has quickly adapted to Ligue 1.

``It is a great team, with individuals can make the difference at any time, especially up front, and they are very well organised.

``It is only the beginning of the championship, but they have already played some beautiful stuff.

``For us, these are the kind of games which are fun to play in and which have a different flavour to more typical matches. It's a game like no other.''

Monaco centre-back Ricardo Carvalho, who moved to the principality on a free transfer from Real Madrid over the summer, believes the points on the board are a bonus given the team has yet to firmly gel.

``We've made a great start, which wasn't necessarily going to happen given the team had a lot of comings and goings during the close season,'' said the former Chelsea defender.

``There's certainly a lot of quality with experienced players and very promising youngsters, but that's not enough to make a team.

``Ours is still under construction and in that context, it's good to win and pick up points. For the confidence, it's the best fuel.''

Monaco will be without midfielders Jeremy Toulalan (groin) and Nabil Dirar (knee), whilst Lorient have striker Julien Quercia (foot) and midfielder Alain Traore (thigh) sidelined, with another striker in Jeremie Aliadiere doubtful due to his own thigh problem.

ends

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