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 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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Jean-Marc Furlan becomes Nantes new coach.

After a poor string of results, including being knocked out of the French Cup by CFA 2 side Concarneau, Nantes coach Gernot Rohr has been dismissed by the team and replaced by former Strasbourg manager Jean-Marc Furlan.

Former French National Team manager Jacques Santini and former Nantes assistant coach Baptiste Gentili were considered for the job as well. Vincent Bracigliano, who had been a youth recruiter for the Nantes, became Furlan’s assistant coach.

While the team is still in 7th place and far from relegation, Nantes felt it was time to replace their coach, who only have one win in their last eight Ligue 2 matches. They have also released a number of other coaching personnel, which will lead to an overhaul of the FC Nantes coaching system.
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Great news for Nantes. Bekamenga to return.

NANTES_BEKAMENGA_030108Nantes and Cameroon striker Christian Bekamenga, who revealed last month that he might have to retire because of a heart condition, stated through his attorney that he has undergone successful surgery and is expected to return to Nantes in the near future.

Bekamenga scored five goals in Ligue 1 last year.

We wish him the best!