2013/14 Ligue 1 Matchday 1 Preview

Today's big question...will Lisandro's departure hurt Lyon?

Today’s big question…will Lisandro’s departure hurt Lyon?

Well, with the long awaited season upon us, it is time to pull out the jerseys, find those internet streams we haven’t used in the last few weeks, fire up the DVRs for the games we want to watch later and crack out the French-English dictionaries because Ligue 1 season is finally here. Gone are all of the preseason games that mean nothing, as well as the hype around only two teams. Now we are at the point where those “mega teams” need to prove themselves.

Of course, the transfer market this summer makes Ligue 1 a much different looking league than we had before. One of the newly promoted teams is vying for a Champions League spot. Some of the smaller teams have brought in really good talent. Other teams have lost a lot of their players in the summer, and questions remain on how they will perform this season.

So, with Matchday 1, what should we expect?
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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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Kevin Gameiro to PSG: Why it’s so Important for Ligue 1

At 2:30 PM (CET) on June 12th, 2011, the official website of Paris Saint-Germain FC announced that Kevin Gameiro had signed a four year deal. Outside sources claim that the fee was 11 million euros with additional incentives possibly worth 15 million. This marked the end of the transfer saga of one of Ligue 1’s brightest stars, having lodged 56 goals and 19 assists in his last three seasons and scoring/creating a goal every 133 minutes this season. Gameiro had been heavily sought after by several clubs, including Valencia, Newcastle, Villareal, and Sevilla in addition to PSG. The diminutive striker had nearly transferred to Valencia in January, agreeing to terms with the club, before Lorient noticed that Valencia hadn’t actually made an offer…oops! Gameiro stayed the second half of the season and came in second in the Ligue 1 scoring charts for the second year running.

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Arsenal target Kevin Gameiro turns eyes to Paris.

In the last six months, there has been much news regarding the sale of Kevin Gameiro. During the summer transfer window, many expected Gameiro to move to Bordeaux to solve their offensive problems that were sure to come (and eventually did come) with the departure of Marouane Chamakh and Yoann Gourcuff.

In the winter, there was talk about a deal in the bag that would send Gameiro to Valencia.

And with the 2011 summer transfer window about to open, the talk of an EPL transfer is growing larger and larger, with Arsenal being the front-runner.

But today, according to L’Equipe, Gameiro spoke with members of Paris St-Germain a few days ago regarding a possible transfer to the capital club. There are no real figure amounts that can be thrown around yet, but it is reported that Gameiro will only play for PSG if they are able to qualify for the Champions League. Technically, Paris, Lyon, Rennes and Sochaux are fighting for third place, which is Ligue 1’s playoff spot for the Champions League.
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Who is Morgan Amalfitano, Arsenal’s new target?

Morgan Amalfitano

We are getting to that time of the year when transfer rumors start flying around faster than Harry Potter books can fly off the bookstore shelves. And while the usual Ligue 1 big names are always mentioned, some of the smaller names get thrown into the discussion as well.

This year, that smaller name has to be Morgan Amalfitano.

At the beginning of this Ligue 1 season, Amalfitano was just another name to most football followers. And to those who followed France’s top flight, he was a good, solid player that could knock in a few goal as well as distribute the ball nicely throughout the pitch. Yes, he was a good player, but nothing really made him stand out as far as being a possible top target for major European football clubs.
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Lorient and Marseille draw, neither gain ground in Ligue 1 table.

Going into Lorient, Marseille had the opportunity pull within one point of league leaders Lille. But Lorient, who plays on synthetic turf, haven’t lost at home since September, and looked to continue that streak against the defending champions. But in the end, both teams played to a 2-2 draw in what could be considered one of the best Ligue 1 matches of the season.

In the opening minutes of the match, Lorient, who were suffering from some key injuries, didn’t let the fact that they are playing the defending Ligue 1 champions phase them. In the first ten minutes, Both Kevin Gameiro and Morgan Amalfitano were able to penetrate deep into OM territory, giving the home side the offensive momentum.

But while the offense of Lorient where able to continue to pressure, the same could not be said for the defense, which, on a number of occasions, missed tackles and gave OM a number of chances on goal.
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