Balotelli backs Monaco ahead of PSG in ti­tle tus­sle

New Straits Times - - Sport -

PARIS: Mario Balotelli says Manch­ester City’s mid-week slay­ers Monaco have the stars and the spirit to edge a reel­ing Paris Saint Ger­main in a tight French ti­tle race.

With nine games to go it is a three-way tus­sle be­tween Balotelli’s Nice, PSG and Monaco, with the lat­ter un­der­lin­ing their rich prom­ise by eject­ing Pep Guardi­ola’s City in the Cham­pi­ons League last 16.

Free-scor­ing Monaco are top with 68 points, with PSG on 65 points and Nice 63 points.

Monaco travel north to Caen to­mor­row, the same day PSG face a showdown with fourth-placed Lyon in Paris.

“Paris Saint Ger­main have phe­nom­e­nal play­ers but no team, while Monaco have one phe­nom­e­nal player in Fal­cao and then a strong group with great team spirit,” Ital­ian striker Balotelli told RMC sport ra­dio on Wed­nes­day.

His Nice team, who go to Nantes to­day, were the league pace­set­ters and even though they have fallen to third Balotelli pre­dicts a great fu­ture.

Balotelli will sit out the last game of his lat­est sus­pen­sion.

His dig at PSG could prove prophetic as the cap­i­tal club face a Lyon side in a real pur­ple patch at the Parc des Princes.

Alexan­dre La­cazette failed to make Di­dier Deschamps’ France squad this week but he has 22 league goals this sea­son.

PSG are still try­ing to re­gal­vanise them­selves after a gutwrench­ing col­lapse at Barcelona a week ago sent a shock­wave through the club.

The Parisian daily news­pa­per asked on Thurs­day if it was time to strip Thi­ago Silva of the cap­taincy and hand it to Edin­son Ca­vani, their stand-out player so far this sea­son with 38 goals in 38 games.

Monaco have scored an astro­nom­i­cal 84 goals in the league with 18-year-old prodigy Kylian Mbappe notch­ing 11 in his last 11, earn­ing a call-up for France.

Nantes v Nice, Angers v Guingamp, Bordeaux v Mont­pel­lier, Nancy v Lori­ent, Toulouse v Rennes;

Caen v Monaco, Di­jon v St Eti­enne, PSG v Lyon. AFP

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