Ligue 1 Preview: Week 2 (2014/15)

Ligue 1 correspondent Robert Bhamber brings you your match-by-match guide the Ligue 1 weekend.


Friday: Caen vs Lille (19:30 GMT)

Week 2’s action begins on Friday evening as Caen take on Lille. This match will take place at the MMArena in Le Mans, as the Stade Michel d’Ornano is being used for the World Equestrian Games. Nevertheless, Caen will be looking to cause another shock in Ligue 1 after last week’s surprise 3-0 win over Evian.

However, Lille will surely pose a much sterner challenge for Patrice Garande’s men, as they look to claim their first win of the new season. And with a Champions League qualifier against FC Porto to contend with in midweek, Rene Girard will want all three points wrapped up as comfortably as possible.


Saturday: PSG vs Bastia (16:00 GMT)

The first match on Saturday sees champions PSG host Bastia at the Parc des Princes. The hosts will be looking to improve on last week’s 2-2 draw away to Reims, but will have to do so without captain Thiago Silva after he suffered a thigh injury in a friendly against Napoli. He could be replaced by David Luiz, who is in line to make his Ligue 1 debut this weekend.

This fixture will also see Bastia coach Claude Makelele return to Parc des Princes, where he served as assistant to Laurent Blanc last season. After coming back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Marseille last weekend, he will be hoping his side’s fighting spirit continues into this match.


Saturday: Toulouse vs Lyon (19:00 GMT)

Toulouse welcome Lyon to the Stadium Municipal, with the home side looking to gain their first points of the new campaign. After last week’s 3-2 loss to Nice, Toulouse boss Alain Casanova will be hoping his side can get something from this match, but that may be a tough ask against a strong Lyon team.

The visitors opened up their league campaign with a straightforward 2-0 win over Rennes and manager Hubert Fournier will be aiming for more of the same this weekend, in what will be his first Ligue 1 away game in charge of Les Gones.


Saturday: Lens vs Guingamp (19:00 GMT)

Lens will play their first match at the Stade de la Licorne since returning to Ligue 1 this weekend against Guingamp. The newly-promoted club fell to a 1-0 defeat away at Nantes last week, but manager Antoine Kombouare will be hopeful of a different outcome this week against a side who only just avoided relegation last term.

Guingamp, though, will see this match as one in which they come into as slight favourites. After suffering a 2-0 loss to St Etienne in their opening match, coach Jocelyn Gourvennec will want to get some points on the board as soon as possible and will view this as a good opportunity to do so.


Saturday: Lorient vs Nice (19:00 GMT)

Lorient take on Nice at the Stade du Moustoir on Saturday evening, as they look to build on last week’s impressive win over Monaco. Goals from Valentin Lavigne and Vincent Aboubakar secured the best possible start to the new season for Sylvain Ripoll, who will be hoping for a win in his first home league match in charge of Les Merlus.

Nice, meanwhile, also come into this match on the back of a win, after overcoming Toulouse 3-2 at home last Saturday. Manager Claude Puel will be looking to make it two victories in a row this weekend, but Lorient may well provide too tough a challenge for a side who only just managed to maintain their Ligue 1 status last season.


Saturday: Rennes vs Evian (19:00 GMT) 

Rennes play host to Evian at the Stade de la Route de Lorient, with both sides looking to claim their first points of the season. The home side suffered a 2-0 loss away to Lyon last week, but will be more hopeful of getting something out of this match against a side who battled with relegation for most of 2013-14.

Evian manager Pascal Dupraz will be looking for his side to regroup after last week’s comprehensive 3-0 defeat at home to newly-promoted Caen and what better way to do it than by claiming all three points in what is a tough looking away fixture for Les Roses. Both of these sides find themselves in the relegation zone after just one week.


Saturday: Metz vs Nantes (19:00 GMT)

Metz play Nantes at the Stade Saint-Symphorien in their first home league game since returning to Ligue 1. The hosts impressively held Lille to a goalless draw last week and manager Albert Cartier will now be looking to go one better this weekend by winning all three points against Nantes in front of their home support.

Nantes started their campaign with a 1-0 win over another newly-promoted side, Lens, last week, thanks to a goal from Yacine Bammou. The visitors will be looking to add another three points to their tally against Metz this weekend, especially with a tough looking fixture at home to Monaco ahead of them next Sunday.


Sunday: Marseille vs Montpellier (16:00 GMT)

Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa will be hoping to see an improvement from his side when they take on Montpellier at the Stade Velodrome on Sunday. Marseille threw away a 3-1 lead to end up drawing 3-3 against Bastia last week and Bielsa will be expecting nothing less than all three points at home to Montpellier this time round.

The match looks to be a difficult one for the visitors, who narrowly lost to Bordeaux in their opening fixture last Saturday. However, after seeing Marseille’s defensive frailties against Bastia, Rolland Courbis will be hoping his side can take advantage and possibly snatch some kind of result themselves.


Sunday: St Etienne vs Reims (16:00 GMT) 

St Etienne will be looking to make it two wins out of two as they host Reims at the Stade Geoffrey-Guichard. Last week’s 2-0 victory away at Guingamp got their season off to the perfect start; one that manager Christophe Galtier will be hoping continues with a home win this weekend.

Reims, though, will be full of confidence themselves after their impressive 2-2 draw with champions PSG on the opening day of the campaign. This is another tough-looking fixture for Jean-Luc Vasseur’s men, but one that they won’t be fazed by judged on last Friday’s performance.


Sunday: Bordeaux vs Monaco (20:00 GMT)

The final match of the weekend sees Bordeaux and Monaco meet at the Stade Chaban-Delmas. Willy Sagnol has enjoyed the perfect start as Bordeaux boss as Cheick Diabate’s goal last weekend was enough to beat Montpellier 1-0 and Diego Contento signed for the club from Bayern Munich in mid-week. 

The opposite can be said of new Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, who has started his tenure by overseeing a disappointing 2-1 loss to Lorient and the sale of James Rodriguez to Real Madrid. The visitors have, however, been boosted by the return of star man Radamel Falcao from injury; he scored his first league goal since January against Lorient last week and will be hoping for more this weekend.

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