Olympique Marseille vs. Toulouse FC Preview

manu-garcia-joins-toulouseWell, we have finally arrived. Ligue 1 action is about to start, and my favorite team is headlining the opening match. Of course, Toulouse FC had quite a scare last season, almost being relegated to Ligue 2, but a strong performance in first game of the playoff secured their position in Ligue 1 for another season. However, they will have to take on Olympique Marseille in the opening match, which will not be an easy task.

First, let’s take a look at Marseille, particularly their off-season. When Frank McCourt purchased OM, it didn’t take the team long to retool. With a number of high-priced transfers coming in during the 2017 transfer season (both summer and winter) as well as bringing in Rudi Garcia to take charge, OM looked as if they were serious about securing second place in Ligue 1, and they just missed out by three points.  Continue reading

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Ligue 1 Preseason Schedule & Results.

Amiens SC (1-1-0)
July 20th (H) Paris FC (Ligue 2) L 1-2
July 24th (H) Tubize (BEL) Q 3-2
July 27th (H) AS Saint-Étienne (Ligue 1)
August 2nd (A) Wolfsburg (GER)

Angers SCO (0-1-2)
July 17th (H) Les Herbiers (National 2) T 1-1
July 21st (H) FC Lorient (Ligue 2) L 1-3
July 25th (H) Stade Malherbe Caen (Ligue 1) L 0-1
July 28th (H) FC Nantes (Ligue 1)
August 1st (A) Villarreal (ESP)
August 3rd (A) West Ham United (ENG)
August 5th (A) Schalke 04 (GER)

FCG de Bordeaux (2-2-0)
July 9th (H) MC Alger (ALG) T 1-1
July 13th (H) Gazélec FCO Ajaccio (Ligue 2) W 1-0
July 18th (A) AS Saint-Étienne (Ligue 1) T 1-1
July 21st (A) Union Berlin (GER) W T 1-1

Stade Malherbe Caen (1-1-1)
July 14th (H) US Concarneau (National 1) T 1-1
July 20th (H) Le Harve AC (Ligue 2) L 0-6
July 25th (A) Angers SCO (Ligue 1) W 0-1
July 28th (H) EAG Guingamp (Ligue 1)

Dijon FCO (0-2-1)
July 14th (A) RC Strasbourg Alsace (Ligue 1) L 3-2
July 18th (H) Sporting Charleroi (BEL) T 2-2
July 21sat (A) FC Sochaux-Montbéliard (Ligue 2) T 2-2
July 28th (H) Southampton (ENG)
August 8th (H) Stade de Reims (Ligue 1)

EAG Guingamp (1-1-0)
July 13th (A) SO Choletais (National 1) W 0-1
July 21st (A) Stade Brestois 29 (Ligue 2) T 2-2
July 28th (A) Stade Malherbe Caen (Ligue 1)
July 31st (A) Stade de Reims (Ligue 1)
August 3rd (H) Nîmes Olympique (Ligue 1)

Lille OSC Metropole (2-0-1)
July 7th (H) US du Littoral de Dunkerque (National 1) W 3-0
July 14th (H) Stade de Reims (Ligue 1) L 2-4
July 25th (A) Portimonense (POR) W 0-2
July 28th (A) Real Betis (ESP)
August 4th (H) Leicester City (ENG)

AS Monaco FC (2-1-2)
July 7th (A) Wisla Karkow (POL) L 1-1 (P)
July 8th (A) Ruch Chorzow (POL) W 0-3
July 14th (A) Cercle Brugge (BEL) W 2-3
July 21st (A) Paderborn (GER) L 3-2
July 25th (A) Bochum (GER) T 2-2
July 28th (A) Hamburger SV (GER)
August 4th (N) Paris Saint-Germain (Trophee des Champions)

Montpellier HSC (1-1-1)
July 14th (H) Clermont Foot 36 (Ligue 2) L 0-4
July 20th (H) Rodez Aveyron Football (National 1) W 2-0
July 25th (H) Villarreal (ESP) T 1-1
July 29th (A) Burnley (ENG)

FC Nantes (2-0-2)
July 7th (H) Servette (CH) W 1-0
July 11th (H) Chenois (CH) W 5-0
July 18th (A) Olympique de Marseilles (Ligue 1) L 2-1
July 21st (H) UA Avranches Mont-Saint-Michel (National 1) L 0-2
July 28th (A) Angers SCO (Ligue 1)
July 31st (H) AS Vitré (National 2)
August 3rd (A) Brighton & Hove Albion (ENG)

OGC Nice (1-0-1)
July 7th (A) Stade Nyonnais (CH) W 2-4
July 14th (H) Sporting CP (POR) L 0-1
July 21st (A) Sporting Charleroi (BEL) T 2-2
July 28th (A) Torino (ITA)
August 4th (A) AS Saint-Étienne (Ligue 1)

Nîmes Olympique (2-1-0)
July 6th (A) AS Béziers (Ligue 2) W 0-1
July 11th (H) RC Lens (Ligue 2) T 3-3
July 20th (A) Gazélec FCO Ajaccio (Ligue 2) W 2-3
July 28th (H) Toulouse FC (Ligue 1)
August 3rd (A) EAG Guingamp (Ligue 1)

Olympique Lyonnais (1-1-1)
July 13th (A) Sion (CH) T 2-2 (full match)
July 21st (H) Fulham (ENG) W 4-0
July 25th (A) Huddersfield Town (ENG) L 3-1
July 28th (H) Wolfsburg (GER)
August 1st (A) Benfica (POR-ICC)
August 4th (A) Inter (ITA-ICC)
August 7th (A) Chelsea (ENG-ICC)

Olympique de Marseille (1-1-3)
July 11th (H) AS Béziers (Ligue 2) L 1-2
July 13th (H) AS Saint-Étienne (Ligue 1) L 0-1
July 18th (H) FC Nantes (Ligue 1) W 2-1
July 21st (H) Villarreal (ESP) T 1-1
July 25th (H) Real Betis (ESP) L 2-3
July 28th (A) Sporting CP (POR)
August 4th (A) AFC Bournemouth (ENG)

Paris Saint-Germain (0-0-1)
July 21st (A) Bayern Munich (GER-ICC) L 3-1
July 28th (N) Arsenal (ENG-ICC)
July 30th (N) Atletico Madrid (ESP-ICC)
July 4th (N) AS Monaco FC (Trophee des Champions)

Stade de Reims (2-1-1)
July 14th (A) Lille OSC (Ligue 1) W 2-4
July 18th (H) FC Red Star (Ligue 2) L 1-2
July 21st (H) Cercle Brugge (BEL) W 2-1
July 25th (H) Lusitanos St. Maur US (National 2) T 2-2
July 28th (A) RC Strasbourg Alsace (Ligue 1)
July 31st (H) EAG Guingamp (Ligue 1)
August 3rd (A) Dijon FCO (Ligue 1)

Stade Rennais FC (0-0-2)
July 14th (A) Salzburg (AUT) L 3-0
July 21st (A) Anderlecht (BEL) L 3-2
July 28th (H) Everton (ENG)
August 3rd (A) Borussia Dortmund (GER)

AS Saint-Étienne (2-0-1)
July 7th (A) ASF Andrézieux Bouthéon (National 2) W 7-0
July 13th (A) Olympique de Marseille (Ligue 1) W 0-1
July 18th (H) FCG de Bordeaux (Ligue 1) L 1-2
July 27th (A) Amiens SC (Ligue 1)
August 4th (H) OGC Nice (Ligue 1)

RC Strasbourg Alsace (1-1-1)
July 10th (A) FC Sochaux-Montbéliard (Ligue 2) L 2-1
July 14th (H) Dijon FCO (Ligue 1) W 3-2
July 20th (H) AS Nancy-Lorraine (Ligue 2) T 0-0
July 23rd (A) Gent (BEL) L 1-0
July 28th (H) Stade de Reims (Ligue 1)
August 3rd (A) Freiburg (GER)

Toulouse FC (2-0-0)
July 10th (H) FC Villefranche-Beaujolais (National 1) W 5-2
July 14th (H) AC Ajaccio (Ligue 2) W 1-0
July 28th (A) Nîmes Olympique (Ligue 1)
August 4th (A) Crystal Palace (ENG)

Ligue 1 Predictions: 1st and 2nd place.

The Ligue 1 season is less than 24 hours away. As we all know, the faces of a lot of the teams out there have changed. There doesn’t seem to be any one team that hasn’t had to deal with the summer transfers in one fashion or another. But when all is said and done, which team was the one that came out ahead?

Of course, this is all subjective. For all we know, next week we could have some major transfers that could change the face of Ligue 1 yet again. Just look at last year for example. Yohann Gourcuff, Loic Remi and Andre-Pierre Gignac were some of the players on the move late into the transfer window. And last year was considered a “boring” transfer year, with the exception of Nene going to PSG. This year has been much different.

So, which team is going to make the best of what they have? Which team has the complete package? Here are my predictions for 1st and 2nd place in Ligue 1.
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Lille do the double, win Ligue 1 title. Sochaux to Europa League.

Lille OSC: 2010-11 Ligue 1 Champions.

Lille OSC: 2010-11 Ligue 1 Champions.

After last week’s big win against Sochaux, Lille, who has not won a Ligue 1 championship since 1954, only had to score one point in their last two matches in order to secure the title. And trying to gain that point in the Parc des Princes isn’t the easiest of tasks. Yet Lille were up to that task as they drew with Paris St. Germain 2-2 and win the Ligue 1 title.

Unlike their French Cup match, which was pretty lame to say the least, this one was a barn-burner which saw a number of close chances for both teams as well as a number of confrontations as well. Lille opened up the scoring just five minutes into the match when Ludovic Obraniak, who scored the only goal in the French Cup final, knocked one in, making the score 1-0. After that, Paris were able to take control of the game, with a number of opportunities coming close for the home side.

In the third minute of stoppage time in the first half, PSG were able  to finally net that goal, with the goal scorer being Guillaume Hoarau, leveling the match at 1-1.
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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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Ligue 1 Matchday 36 Sunday Preview

A Lens loss will relegate the team to Ligue 2.

Now with both the League Cup and French Cup out of the way, all eyes can now focus on Matchday 36 and the remaining schedule. As of this point, only three things have been determined. First, Arles-Avignon will be relegated. Second, Lille will be playing in the Champions League. And third, Marseille will be playing in some sort of European competition due to their victory in the League Cup. Everything else is still up in the air.

Many of the matches this weekend could possibly be the predictor of nothing. At the end of the matchday, which will continue until Wednesday, many of the teams that were in competition for an European spot still might not have qualified or have been eliminated from that spot. Therefore, we will first look at a relegation zone match, which could possibly lead to one of the storied teams in Ligue 1 being relegated to the second division.

In the match between Monaco and Lens, both teams will be climbing an uphill battle. After compiling a few wins in April, Monaco looked as if they were going to survive the relegation zone. But after a few disappointing outings, The Principality find themselves right back in the same position as they did before their mini-win streak. As for Lens, the season hasn’t been one to remember. The club thought that making a coaching change from Jean-Guy Wallemme to László Bölöni would help, but many could argue that it has only made things worse. Therefore, who has the advantage going into this match?
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Marseille defeat Brest 3-0, find themselves back in the title hunt.

After last week’s upsetting loss to Lyon in “The Olympico”, Marseille looked to jump back on the winning horse and run away against their next opponent, Brest. And to the delight of the fans at the Stade Velodrome, OM didn’t disappoint.

Just minutes into the match, both teams had chances on goal. Jordan Ayew was brought down in the box, which brought a number of calls from the fans demanding a penalty kick, and rightfully so. Just one minute later, Brest’s Nolan Roux made a break on goal, beating goalkeeper Steve Mandanda. Who came out of his net to challenge Roux, but was unable to catch the ball as it headed toward an empty Marseille net. This would be Brest’s only quality chance throughout the match.
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