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Ligue 1: Predicting Monaco’s starting XI vs. Saint-Etienne

AS Monaco will look to increase the pressure on the top three in Ligue 1 when they welcome Saint-Etienne to the Stade Louis II on Friday evening.

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The Club of the Principality have won three of their last four and have steadily climbed the league after a slow start to their campaign.

Critical to their progress has been their superb defensive unit, the Monegasques have conceded fewer than any other side in Ligue 1, and have let in seven fewer goals than table-toppers Paris Saint-Germain.

Danijel Subasic will likely start in goal against Saint-Etienne, keeping Martin Stekelenburg on the bench, and expect Laywin Kurzawa and Fabinho to continue in the full-back positions.

Wallace will start at centre-back, and with Ricardo Carvalho absent, is likely to be joined by either a fit-again Andrea Raggi or Tunisia international Aymen Abdennour

A midfield three will likely include Jeremy Toulalan at the base. The former Malaga and Olympique Lyonnais man may be coming to the end of his contract at the Stade Louis II, but he remains a vital performer for Monaco. He will be joined by the energy and strength of Geoffrey Kondogbia and the precision and creativity of Joao Moutinho.

Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alain Traore remain doubtful.

It is a midfield three who will look to out-power and outplay their Stephanois counterparts.

Up front, Belgium international Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Nabil Dirar will provide width and support for Dimitar Berbatov.

The Bulgarian may be past his prime at 34, but he has scored seven league goals so far this term and will be well-rested after remaining in the Principality during the international break.

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