Ligue 1 Matchday 2 Saturday Preview and Predictions

Can Brice Jovial sink Toulouse?

Finally, the Ligue 1 season is underway. After last week’s matches, we can at least get a little glimpse into what some of the teams might look like. Yes, one match into the season isn’t a predictor of anything. Even so, we were able to really get a look at what some of the teams might be throwing out there this season, and help us get an idea of where they are going.

Lorient vs. Bordeaux – This is easily the tale of two teams that went in different directions last week. Lorient pulled off the upset of Matchday 1 with a victory on the road against Paris St. Germain. Bordeaux, on the other hand, continued to struggle to find a scoring touch and lost to St. Etienne by a score of 2-1. But will the same teams show up this weekend?

As far as Lorient, they did play an impressive match. Throughout their game against PSG, Lorient had the home side on their toes. Aggressive play against what many considered a superior opponent was quite a shock. But is that what we should expect from Lorient this season, or was that just a flash in the pan? As for Bordeaux, creating any offensive threat continues to be their main problem. And after the club stated in L’Equipe this week that they would not seek any new players for the remainder of the summer transfer period, Bordeaux are pretty much stuck where they are.
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2011-12 Ligue 1 Preview: 20th to 15th place.

With the Ligue 1 season just days away from starting, and with much of the transfer garbage behind us, we can now actually examine how the Ligue 1 season could possibly play out. Two years ago we saw an influx of players into Marseille and Lyon which changed the faces of their teams. This year, a number of teams will look quite different. Luckily for French football, the net gains seemed to have outweighed the net losses.

In this series of articles, I will be looking at my predictions for teams that I think will finish 20th to 15th place. As the days count down, I will move up the ladder, with my eventually Ligue 1 winner saved for last. So, here we go.

20th – Dijon: Every year, there is always one team that is promoted that actually surprises us and perform better than expected. Last year it was Brest. Could Dijon be one of those teams that people are underestimating?

Like Arles-Avignon last year, Dijon is bringing in a bunch of players that haven’t played with each other before. But, of course, this could be the standard for Ligue 1 this year. But unlike other teams, the transfers into Dijon fail to impress, much like Arles-Avignon. Yes, there are a few good players coming in, like Abdoulaye Meite of Marseille fame. But will bringing in some of these older players really make Dijon a better team? I fail to see that being the case.
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Friday’s Ligue 2 Recap: High scoring day changes nothing.

In a high scoring Friday, which saw 35 goals scored, the Ligue 2 standings pretty much remained unchanged.

At the top of the table, Evian were able to continued their winning ways against ESTAC by a score of 3-0. American Quentin Westberg started in goal for Evian and collected the clean sheet.  Youssef Adnane added his 8th goal of the season as well, as Evian saw some offensive production from their defenders, as Brice Djadjedje and Aldo Angoula also scored for Evian.

ESTAC, who were promoted from the Championnat National last year, are still not out of the woods yet regarding the Ligue 2 survival. But even with the humiliating loss on the road, they are still in a position of advantage in the relegation fight.
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Ligue 2 games of note for Week 20

Like inLigue 1, we are halfway though the Ligue 2 season. And, unlike Ligue 1, many of the winter transfer market moves has been in the second division. We will see how these moves, which are listed on our Winter Transfer Center page, will effect these teams. But here is a quick preview of some of today’s Ligue 2 matches.

AC Ajaccio  
  AC Arles Avignon

Arles, who are having an impressive season so far, will travel to one of the only places in France that it isn’t snowing, Corsica, to take on AC Ajaccio. Unlike their rivals at Bastia, Ajaccio has not made any changes to their team in during the winter transfer window. In fact, they lost the services of defender Jonathan Martins Pereiea  to Nantes.

Arles Avignon are looking to move into the top two in Ligue 2 and try to secure that second league position. And with the poor play of Caen the last few matches, Arles could possibly make that move. We will also see if Ivorian Bakary Soro, who transfered in from Charlton Athletic in England, will impact the team.
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