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Moutinho: Synthetic pitch to test Monaco

Monaco midfielder Joao Moutinho said the synthetic Stade Yves Allainmat pitch at Lorient will pose his side a different challenge on Saturday.

The big-spending Ligue 1 outfit travel to Le Moustoir hoping to once again reduce Paris Saint-Germain’s lead at the top to three points.

A different pitch awaits Claudio Ranieri’s team and Moutinho said Monaco needed to adapt quickly.

“It’s different from all pitches we’ve played before. They are used to it, but we’re not,” Moutinho said.

“But when we arrive there we’ll have to get used to it. We are aware that the ball could bounce higher, but it’s the pitch we are going to play and that’s where we’ll try to do our best to win.”

PSG’s 2-0 win over Bordeaux on Friday extended their lead at the top to six points, putting pressure on Monaco to maintain their form.

Moutinho expects 10th-placed Lorient to play on the counter-attack, but said his side just needed to focus on their own plans.

“It’s a compact team. They defend very well and try to go on counter-attack. They have their weapons but we also have ours,” the Portuguese said.

“We want to impose our game, even playing in our opponent’s stadium. That’s what we do in every match. I hope we keep doing it so we win and maintain the second place.”

Moutinho praised his team for their efforts so far this season and said their goal of UEFA Champions League qualification had remained unchanged.

“I think we are doing a good season. We have to move on; we know that nothing ends here,” he said.

“We are in second place, we just depend on ourselves at the moment, but we have to work to achieve more things and we know that our main target is the Champions League.”

Sat 1 February, 2014
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