Ligue 1 Matchday 15: What did we learn?

Time for Coupet to return to the PSG goal.

First of all, I am sorry that I haven’t written in the last few days. Both work and school set me back, and I had a number of deadlines due today. But anyway, I am back now and ready to write.

So, we had a number of interesting matches last weekend in Ligue 1. From top to bottom, these matches were pretty even, with any team really having a chance to beat any other team. Therefore, it seemed as if we could learn something from this week possibly more than we can in other weeks. But, on a weekly basis, I plan on doing a “what did we learn” section. So, what did we learn in Matchday 15?

1. Marseille are back – after a slow start to the season, Marseille seems to have their stuff together. What they have learned is that they really don’t need Andre-Pierre Gignac to win. What they need is production from Lucho and Mathieu Valbuena along with some stellar play from their defense, which took a blow with Cesar Azpilicueta’s injury, which will keep him off the team for six months.
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Champions League Preview: Auxerre’s Swan Song?

Can Olivier Sorin keep Auxerre's Champions League chances alive?

Going into tomorrow’s match against AC Milan, Auxerre has a very straightforward task. If they win, they are still alive. If they lose, they are eliminated. That is pretty much it in a nutshell.

While Auxerre is in what I would call the “group of death”, which consists of Real Madrid, AC Milan and Ajax, they were able to at least get one win at home against Ajax. Still, one win against the second weakest team at home isn’t going to see Auxerre advance to the knock out state of the Champions League.

And while Auxerre has some problems with their competition, they also have some problems with their squad as well. Ireneusz Jelen, Auxerre’s most prolific scorer, is sidelined for two months after going through knee surgery last week. In addition to the Jelen departure, Anthony Le Tallec, who was expected to bring Auxerre a 1-2 punch along with Jelen, has been sidelined with an ankle injury.
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Ligue 1 Mercato Preview: Part I

Could David Pollet, who has shown his worth with Paris FC, find himself on a Ligue 1 team in the winter?

With the winter transfer window about to open, Everything French Football going to do a five-part series about what Ligue 1 teams should doing during the 2009-10 winter Mercato. While some teams like Bordeaux basically have to do nothing, there are other teams that are in a need of an overhaul. 

Therefore, we will start this series today looking at Auxerre, Bordeaux, Boulogne and Grenoble. 

AJ Auxerre Needs: Scoring – Right Attacking Midfielder or Striker
Auxerre started off this season looking quite weak. They couldn’t buy a win. And then, somehow, they were able to find their grove, moving from last to first in the Ligue 1 table. Now they seemed to have fallen back to earth and could use a little help from the transfer market. 

It is easy to say that Auxerre’s problem this season is scoring. While it has to be said that Ireneusz Jelen, Benoit Pedretti, Daniel Niculae and Dennis Oliech are good offensive players, they just don’t seem to be clicking. Right now, Dennis Oliech is somewhat playing out of position on the right-wing, as he is naturally a striker. It might be better for Auxerre to look at getting someone on that right side to increase the depth of their scoring squad, which they desperately need right now. 
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Preview: Dec. 12th Ligue 1 matches

Recently, Ligue 1 matches look to be predictable before the start of the game. But there have been a number of lopsided matches held in the last 2 months, like Grenoble being on a 4 game unbeaten streak, while playing Monaco, Lyon and Toulouse.

Unlike the EPL, where many matches are predictable, many of these matches haven’t been going exactly as planned.

This Saturday, we get back to a to a bit of normalcy as we have a number of evenly match teams taking on one another. So here is our preview for today’s matches.
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Ligue 1 injury update: Matchday 11

Jimmy Briand returning after 9 months

Injury problems at Lyon continue to haunt the club for matchday 11 (rescheduled because of the France-Ireland playoff) as they will be withouth a number of key players in the upcoming match against league leaders Bordeaux.

Like usual, the defense takes a big hit, with Mathieu Bodmer, Francois Clerc and Jeremy Toulalan still not being available for Lyon. They will also be without the services of striker/winger Sidney Govou, who was added to the injury list this week with an injury to his left hamstring.

Manager Claude Puel said that his players are close to returning to the pitch but are just not quite there yet.
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Ligue 1 Fantasy Football Guide

I know there are many people out there who are English-speaking that try to play as many online fantasy football games as possible. Heck, I even play fantasy basketball from time to time, having no idea what I am doing. And with many websites, like Yahoo, offering French fantasy football, some fans need guidance on how the pick their starting line up for their team.

I have been involved with fantasy sports since 1988, when I played in a fantasy hockey league on an internet program called Q-Link, which was available for the Commodore 64. I have won my fair share of championships throughout the years. And, hopefully, this site can help you with your starting lineup if you are in a French football fantasy league, but have no idea who to start.

We will be doing this every week, and hopefully you will enjoy it!

And if you have a question about starting players, leave a comment and we can get back to you.

So, on to Matchday 15. Who to play and who not to play is the question. And to start off, I will give you my starters for the week.

But just a note before we start…make sure you do not start any Monaco or Montpellier players as that game has been postponed due to swine flu.
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