Mevlut Erding to Newcastle?

I enjoy the fact that this picture doesn't exactly suit the occasion...

After the news broke that Kevin Gameiro had signed for PSG, speculation was rife over the future of Mevlut Erding, who had a disappointing 2010-11 (hitting the net only 9 times in 34 appearances) and plays a similar role to the former Lorient man.

Newcastle, who have been linked to seemingly every notable Ligue 1 player in the last few weeks, have thus far failed in their pursuits of France-based attackers, having been turned down by Gameiro and Gervinho in favor of other moves. However, all this may change quite soon, as Erding, whose failure to maintain his prolific Ligue 1 strike rate has made him increasingly unpopular with PSG fans, will most likely not be an asset new PSG owners the Qatar Investment Authority want to maintain.

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French Cup (Coupe de France) Final Preview: Lille vs. Paris St. Germain.

Like every year in the French Cup, this year was filled with excitement. There were the close games. There were the near-upsets. And in the end, there was Chambery, a CFA-2 team (5th Division) team that knocked off three Ligue 1 teams, making their way to the French Cup quarterfinals before they were knocked out by Angers.

But then it was down to two. Current Ligue 1 leaders Lille and defending cup holders Paris St. Germain will be facing off against each other at the Stade de France on Saturday night. But who will have the advantage going into this match? Besides the obvious “who has the best” questions, we will try to examine the match a little further and give you an idea of the mindsets of these two teams.

Goalkeeping – If you were to ask this question four years ago, Gregory Coupet would be the easy choice in goal. But it is 2011, and Mickael Landreau, who isn’t a spring chicken himself, has the upper hand. Granted, Coupet has looked decent for the Paris side over the last few matches, but so has Landreau, who stopped an amazing penalty kick against St. Etienne this past weekend. Therefore, while both keepers are getting up there in age, the 31-year old Landreau has the advantage over the 38-year old Coupet. Advantage: Lille.
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May 27th News: France beats Costa Rica

Toulalan doing what he does best, stealing (L'Equipe)

In their first warm up match before the World Cup, France defeated Costa Rica 2-1. Costa Rica missed out on a World Cup qualifying spot in a playoff against Uruguay, which France will play in the group stage.

France started off a little slow, and were down 1-0 early from a sloppy goal scored by Carlos Hernandez. France were able to get an equalizer with an own-goal by Costa Rican and Real Salt Lake midfielder Douglas Sequeira. Still, the first half of play looked quite slow and sloppy for Les Bleus.

In the second half, France was able to get back on track. Matthew Valbuena, in his first match with the French National Team, scored his first goal with the team as well in the 83rd minute, which would also prove to be the game winner. In addition, Franck Ribery was showing some shades of 2006, and Abou Diaby also showed some solid play.

French coach Raymond Domenech did a good job utilizing all of his player, with many of them seeing a little bit of playing time. He ran a 4-3-3, which look to work well (as we should expect it should with a French team). The only real break from the norm was Steve Mandanda starting in goal instead of Hugo Lloris. Still, once the Cup play rolls along, expect Lloris to easily be the starter.

In addition to the French National Team taking the pitch, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is making a trip to Geneva, Switzerland to wait for the announcement of who will be hosting the Euro 2016 competition. France is considered one of the front runners right now, along with Italy and Turkey. The announcement will be made on Friday at 1 PM Paris time.
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Seven games into the season, and all looks the same

Loic Remy - the most underrated player in France?

Loic Remy - the most underrated player in France?

While it is only seven games into the Ligue 1 season, we are starting to see how things about starting to pan out. As predicted Bordeaux, Lyon and Marseille are the top three and Grenoble is struggling. Yet there are a number of teams that are playing over and under their potential. The same thing can be said about some players as well.

The under achievers?

There is one team of note that is playing way under their potential. Lille entered this season with a lot of promise, and a lot of talent as well. Players that might not be known outside the Ligue 1 world, like Pierre-Alain Frau, Robert Vittek, Florent Balmont, Ludovic Obraniak and Eden Hazard (though that is changing) are stars within France. And, with these players, Lille had a great chance to make it to the top five this year.

But playing from behind and a lack of goal scoring has lead to a team that is currently lying in 17th place, only two goals away from relegation. If the Northern France side plans on getting back to their winning ways, they have to continue to work the ball to Beglian international Eden Hazard. Hazard, who many link to a move elsewhere soon, has proved in his short time in Ligue 1 play that he is amongst the best offensive midfielders in the game. He also plays striker as well, and can really move around the pitch. Yet, much of their play seems to be coming from Vittek, who is a great player in his own right.

This week Lille will play against a struggling Boulogne, who are starting to slide down the league table.
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Injury News: Mevlut Erding to miss 15 days, Escude questionable

PSG-Mevlut-Erding-celeb_2347899Le Parisien has reported that PSG’s Trukish striker Mevlut Erding will miss 15 days due to a shoulder injury that he recieved during PGS’s match against Lille two weeks ago. He will undergo arthroscopic surgery tomorrow on the shoulder, and his status will be updated after the clubs re-evaluates the player after the surgery.

With Erding out this week, this should lead the way for Guillaume Hoarau to return to the starting line-up for the first time this year.

Also, Julien Escude is questionable for tomorrow’s game versus Serbia.