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Ligue 1 – Gameday 5 Preview

Here is a preview of the Ligue 1 matches that are coming up this Saturday and Sunday.

Le Mans UC 72  
  Olympique de Marseille

Marseille hasn’t been the most impressive side so far this year, considering the pre-season hype. Yet, they did have an impressive game against champions Bordeaux two weeks ago, despite drawing the game at 0-0. Marseille are looking to strengthen their team with the addition of Lucho Gonzalez, who had been injured since August with a collarbone injury.

On the other hand, Le Mans is continuing a streak of playing tough teams. So far, Le Mans has played PSG, Nancy and Lyon. Next week they will go up against Lille. So their upcoming schedule continues to be strong.

Marseille should have an easy time winning this game, but Le Mans could pull a surprise. With weapons like Thorstein Helstad and Modibo Maiga, anything is possible. But a Marseille victory should be in store.

  FC Sochaux-Montbéliard

Will Charlie Davies continue to impress? So far the American is looking great, and is starting to become a fan favorite Sochaux. He has already had French media looking at him as well as having a write up on the official Ligue 1 website.

While Davies has been impressive, the same cannot be said for Lille. A team with so much talent is flirting with the relegation zone early in the season. While this shouldn’t last, one would have to question why Lille is playing so poorly. They seem not to be able to hold on to a lead, and if they do happen to go down, they are just not able to score. They have looked good in their games, but their finishing chances just don’t seem to be there.

But with the talent Lille has, this streak will have to end soon. Rudi Garcia should get his troops moving once again. But if they continue to lose, will Garcia be looking for another job? He is a quality manager and hopefully he should get a win.

Olympique Lyonnais  
  FC Lorient

Lorient hasn’t been that bad this season. But their season has been pretty easy so far, even though they drew Montpellier and beat Lille away.

But they are playing Olympique Lyonnais, and right now they are looking like the hottest team in right now. After drawing their first game against Le Mans, Lyon has played superb in Ligue 1 play, including two solid games in the UEFA Champions League qualifying.

But can Lorient goaltender Fabien Audard stop the firepower of Lisandro Lopez, Bafetimbi , Michel Bastos and a slew of others? Uh…no. I think Lyon wins this one easily at home and, could possibly, take the table lead at the end of the week.

Montpellier HSC  
  RC Lens

Usually by this time in the season, there is a team that surprises everyone. This year, that team would be Montpellier. The recently promoted side has yet to lose a game, and looks good both offensively and defensively. This week, they will play against Lens, another promoted side that is just behind Marseille in 6th place.

Lens was promoted last year after having one of their worse seasons on record. Their relegation was a surprise to most. But they should do well this year and continue their progress upward.

Still, if Montpellier wins this game, it would have to be said that they are the real deal.

AS Nancy Lorraine  
  Toulouse FC

So far this year, both Nancy and Toulouse, two teams that should be flirting with Europa League spots, aren’t looking to impressive.

Nancy has looked impressive offensively this year, but they have also allowed a lot of goals.For this matchup, Nancy will be missing a number of key players, including strikers Issiar Dia and Cheick Tidine Diabate, midfielder Youssouf Hadji and defender Abdeslam Ouaddou .

Toulouse’s problem this year has been the lack of scoring. Andre-Pierre Gignac, who scored 24 goals last year in Ligue 1, has only scored 1 goal this year. But with Nancy looking poor defensively this year and the lack of much of their offensive, Toulouse has a great chance of grabbing three away points in this match.

Valenciennes FC  
  US Boulogne CO

Ok, the good news is that Boulogne is currently 8th in the table and looking pretty good this year.

The bad news is that they have played Auxerre, Grenoble and St. Etienne…a pretty easy schedule. And, after this game, they have to play Bordeaux in Ligue 1 and PSG in the League Cup.

Valenciennes has been playing under their possible potential this year and could grab three points at home against the newly promoted side. I haven’t seen either side play this year, so I can’t really comment on the possible outcome of this game. But Valenciennes should be in good shape to get their second win of the season.

FC Girondins de Bordeaux  
  Grenoble Foot 38

This can get ugly, and can get ugly quick. 4-0 at least. Maybe more goals? Who knows. Still, I think we all know the outcome of this match.

AJ Auxerre  
  OGC Nice

The last two weeks for Nice have been bad…I mean really bad. They have allowed seven goals in two games. One of those loses was against a Monpellier team that is starting to look for real.

Up until those matchups, Nice had looked impressive, but just had a number of missed chances…similar to the current situation at Lille right now.

Luckily for Nice, they are playing against an Auxerre side that hasn’t scored a goal this season. Can they score in this game? I’m sure they can since Nice has looks quite poorly defensively. But Nice should have the better side and should come away with at least a draw away.

Stade Rennais FC  
  AS Saint-Etienne

If Rennes want to move up the table, this is the best time to do it.

Saint-Etienne has been playing poorly this season, only scoring two goals so far. And with Rennes being a defensive minded team, it will be a challenge to score, especially with Gomis moving to Lyon.

Rennes, on the other hand, need to score as well. They do have decent players up front, as well as Jerome Leroy being a great and, I think, underrated attacking midfielder.

Rennes should take the win at home and hopefully start moving up the table.

AS Monaco FC  
  Paris Saint-Germain

This is the game of the week. I have always called these teams the ‘put up or shut up’ teams. They always act like they are championship quality teams, but rarely do they show that they can actually challenge the top spot.

But for Paris Saint-Germain, that might be changing. They have been looking impressive so far, especially with an impressive 3-0 win at home against Lille. Everyone is contributing to the team both offensively.

While Marseille and Lyon might have had the biggest name signings, PSG might have the best quality signings this year. With the addition of Christophe Jallet, Mevlut Erding and others, the team looks like they are playing just as well as Bordeaux.

Erding will be out of this weekend’s match, which should lead the way Giullaume Hoarau to finally be inserted into the starting lineup.

On the other hand, Monaco hasn’t looked impressive. They have had a hard time scoring this year. But with the addition Eiður Guðjohnsen to the team, their offensive might look a little more impressive.

Still, one player doesn’t make a team. And PSG has a solid team. This team has a very solid chance of qualifying for a Champions League qualifying spot.

A draw is something that should be expected, but don’t be surprised if PSG start to run away with this game.

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