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Your Guide to the Ligue 1 Midweek Fixtures (3/12/14)

Robert Bhamber takes you through Wednesday’s and Thursday’s fixtures this week.

Wednesday: Nice (11th) vs Rennes (6th) (18:00 GMT) 

Nice will be aiming to stop a Rennes side in excellent form as the two sides meet at the Allianz Riviera on Wednesday. The hosts have won just one of their last seven league outings, the 7-2 thrashing of Guingamp in Week 11, but have managed to retain a safe position in mid-table. They narrowly lost 1-0 to champions PSG at the weekend and manager Claude Puel will be looking for a better result here. 

Rennes, however, head into this match on the back of three consecutive league wins and a seven game unbeaten streak in Ligue 1. They have surged from 15th to sixth in the table as a result and now sit just two points behind third placed Lyon. Philippe Montanier will be hoping his side’s good form lasts as long as possible and that they claim another three points on Wednesday.

– Since their 7-2 victory at Guingamp, Nice have scored just once in four league fixtures.

– They have won three, drawn two and lost three at home in the league this campaign.

– Rennes have conceded just once in their last seven league games.

– However, they have lost all three away league games this season in which they have conceded first.

– Last season, Nice won this match 2-1.

 

Wednesday: Montpellier (9th) vs St Etienne (5th) (18:00 GMT)

Montpellier will be looking to end St Etienne’s six match unbeaten in the league when they meet at the Altrad Stadium on Wednesday. Montpellier’s inconsistency has left them ninth in the league heading into this match and Rolland Courbis will need his team to start turning draws into wins if they are to climb the table further; they drew 1-1 with struggling Caen at the weekend.

St Etienne, meanwhile, could move as high as third in the table with a victory here. Christophe Galtier’s men are in good form at the moment, with three wins and three draws in their last six league outings, so will be expecting to take at least a point, and maybe even all three, from this match, especially with the likes of Rennes and Nantes breathing down their necks in the league table.

– Montpellier have won their last three ‘home’ games in the league.

– They have won all five ‘home’ league fixtures this season in which they have scored the first goal.

– St Etienne have conceded just twice in their last six league outings.

– They have spent the entire campaign so far in the top half.

– Last season, St Etienne won this match 1-0.

 

Wednesday: Guingamp (20th) vs Caen (17th) (18:00 GMT)

Two teams stuck at the wrong end of the table meet at the Stade du Roudourou on Wednesday as Guingamp take on Caen. The hosts currently sit at the foot of Ligue 1, two points and three places behind opponents Caen. They have lost their last three league outings, to Lyon, Rennes and Evian respectively, and can ill afford to lose to another relegation candidate here.

Caen aren’t in the best form either, winning just one of their last 12 league games. However, they have managed to hold both Monaco and Montpellier to draws in their last two outings, results that will give manager Patrice Garande some confidence heading into this match. A win for Garande’s men could take them as high as 14th in the table, as long as other results go their way.

– Guingamp have won two and lost six of their home league games this season.

– They have scored five and conceded 14 in these games.

– Caen have only lost one of their last five away league matches.

– The other four have all been draws; they have taken a point away from Toulouse, Lens, Bordeaux and Monaco.

– The last time this match was played was in Ligue 2 during the 2012/13 season, with Guingamp emerging 1-0 winners.

 

Wednesday: Metz (13th) vs Bordeaux (4th) (18:00 GMT)

Metz will be looking to end an alarming run of three straight losses in the league when they welcome Bordeaux to the Stade Saint-Symphorien on Wednesday. The hosts have gone down in each of their last three league outings, against Toulouse, PSG and Lens respectively, and face another tough task against Bordeaux here.

The visitors sit fourth in the league table heading into this match, behind Lyon in third on goal difference only. Three wins in their last four have cemented Bordeaux’s position within the league’s leading pack, but Willy Sagnol knows his team must keep winning games like these, especially with the likes of St Etienne, Rennes and Nantes all within a few points of Bordeaux.

– Metz have won only one of their last seven league games.

– They have conceded 10 goals in their last four matches.

– Bordeaux have yet to drop below seventh in the table this campaign.

– However, they have only won one of their last six league away games.

– The last time this match was played was during the 2007/08 campaign, with Bordeaux winning 1-0.

 

Wednesday: Bastia (19th) vs Evian (16th) (18:00 GMT)

Bastia host fellow strugglers Evian at the Stade Armand Cesari, with both sides needing victory to move themselves away from the bottom three. The home side currently sit in the relegation zone, two points above bottom-side Guingamp. The 2-1 loss to Reims at the weekend saw them drop to 19th, but they can pull themselves out of the bottom three by claiming all three points here.

Evian, meanwhile, sit three places and two points better off than their hosts, but will also be wary of the need to move away from the bottom three heading into the winter break. They head into this game on the back of two wins, against Nice and Guingamp respectively, so manager Pascal Dupraz will be hoping for more of the same against Bastia.

– Bastia have won 10 points from a possible 24 at home this season.

– They have scored eight and conceded nine in their eight home league games so far.

– Evian have won just one away game in the league this campaign, at Lorient in Week 8.

– Their other five away games have all ended in defeat and they also conceded first in every one of these.

– Last season, Bastia won this match 2-0.

 

Wednesday: Lille (15th) vs PSG (2nd) (20:00 GMT)

Lille’s dreadful run isn’t about to get any easier as champions PSG are the visitors to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Wednesday evening. The hosts haven’t won any of their last six league outings, losing their previous two against Reims and, most recently, Bordeaux. These results have seen Rene Girard’s men fall to 15th in the league, only two points above the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, PSG are still unbeaten in all competitions this season and have won each of their last six league games. They also have the extra incentive of going top of the league for the first time this season with victory in this match, thanks to Marseille’s 1-1 draw at Lorient on Tuesday. Laurent Blanc’s side beat Nice 1-0 in their last league outing.

– Lille’s only win in their last nine league matches came at home against Bastia in Week 8.

– They have scored just twice in their last six league games.

– PSG have taken 16 points from 24 on the road this season.

– They have scored 14 and conceded eight in league away games.

– Last season, PSG won this match 3-1.

 

Thursday: Lyon (3rd) vs Reims (8th) (20:00 GMT) 

The final game of Ligue 1’s midweek action takes place on Thursday, as Lyon tackle Reims at the Stade de Gerland. The hosts will be looking for victory in order to keep themselves within touching distance of front-runners Marseille and PSG; Lyon are six points behind second-placed PSG heading into this game. They have been in good form in recent weeks, but suffered a comprehensive 3-0 loss to St Etienne last time out, something Hubert Fournier will want his players to put right.

Reims, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last seven league games and sit a comfortable eighth in the table. They overcame Bastia 2-1 at home at the weekend and manager Jean-Luc Vasseur will be hoping his side can take advantage of Lyon and inflict a second defeat in a week on Les Gones.

– Lyon have an impressive record at home in the league, winning all but one of their eight games so far.

– Their only defeat came at the hands of Lens in Week 3.

– Reims have won four and drawn three during their seven game unbeaten run.

– However, they have only won one away league game this campaign, at Lorient in Week 6.

– Last season, this match was played twice. In the league, Reims won 1-0 in August, but Lyon emerged 3-2 winners in the Coupe de Ligue Round of 16 in December.

R.B.

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