Robert Bhamber is back after a short international break with your comprehensive guide to this weekend’s Ligue 1 action.
Friday: Lens (18th) vs PSG (3rd) (19:30 GMT)
Week 10’s action starts on Friday evening at the Stade de France as Lens take on PSG. Lens have struggled for form of late; they are winless in their last five league games. Their 2-0 loss away at Rennes last time out saw Antoine Kombouare’s side slip into the bottom three for the second time this season.
PSG, meanwhile, are unbeaten in the league so far this campaign, but will want to end their habit of drawing games as soon as possible. The champions have drawn six of their nine league matches so far, which has left them seven points behind leaders Marseille. Nevertheless, PSG fans will be fairly confident of taking all three points from this match, even with a lengthy injury list which includes the likes of Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
– Lens have scored just seven goals in their nine league games so far this season. Only Guingamp (4) have scored fewer.
– They have played all of their home games this season at the Stade de la Licorne, but will play this match at the Stade de France.
– PSG are the only unbeaten side left in the division.
– They have conceded just six league goals this season; only Lille and Montpellier (5 each) have let in fewer.
– The last time this match was played was during the 2011/11 season, with PSG emerging 2-0 winners.
Saturday: Lorient (14th) vs St Etienne (10th) (16:00 GMT)
St Etienne will be looking to get back to winning ways when they travel to the Stade du Moustoir to face Lorient on Saturday. The hosts ended a four match losing streak last time out, defeating Bastia 2-0 away from home. Manager Sylvain Ripoll will be hoping to take advantage of a St Etienne side that aren’t at their best right now to make it two wins in a row this weekend.
The visitors are without a win in their last three league games, losing two of them and dropping from third to 10th in the table in the process. The defeat away at Marseille wouldn’t have been particularly worrying for Christophe Galtier, but the loss at home to Toulouse last time out would have certainly set alarm bells ringing. He will be hoping his side return to form sooner rather than later.
– Lorient have failed to score in six of their last eight league games.
– They have also only picked up four points from the 12 available in home games this season.
– St Etienne have not scored in the first 30 minutes of a Ligue 1 match this season.
– They have taken 6 points from 12 on the road in the league so far, winning two and losing two.
– Last season, Lorient won this match 1-0.
Saturday: Nice (11th) vs Bastia (19th) (19:00 GMT)
Nice welcome struggling Bastia to the Allianz Riviera this weekend, as they look to extend their three game unbeaten run. The hosts have beaten Lille and Monaco and drawn with Montpellier recently, but despite their upset victories of late, manager Claude Puel will be warning his team not to get complacent against the likes of Bastia, who sit 19th in the league.
The visitors have won just one league game all season and have lost their last two outings without scoring a goal. They sit just one point above bottom side Guingamp heading into the weekend, which is something that manager Claude Makelele will be desperate to change in the coming weeks.
– Nice have won three, drawn one and lost one at home so far this season.
– They have scored just nine times in nine league games, but find themselves 11th in the table.
– Bastia are yet to win away from home this campaign.
– They did, however, manage to hold Bordeaux to a 1-1 draw in Week 4.
– Last season, Nice won this match 2-0.
Saturday: Metz (9th) vs Rennes (12th) (19:00 GMT)
Metz take on Rennes at the Stade Saint-Symphorien as they look to maintain their highly impressive home form. The newly-promoted side have taken 10 points from 12 on their own turf so far this campaign, something that manager Albert Cartier will be hoping continues long into the season.
Rennes, meanwhile, ended a three match losing streak in their last game, as they won 2-0 at home to Lens before the international break. With another tough looking match against Lille coming up next week, manager Philippe Montanier will be eager for his side to take at least a point from this game, although that will be easier said than done considering Metz’s home record this campaign.
– The only team to have taken anything away from the Stade Saint-Symphorien this season was Nantes, who held Metz to a 1-1 draw in Week 2.
– Metz have scored nine goals in their four home matches so far, conceding just three.
– Rennes have lost their last two away league matches, at Marseille and Bordeaux respectively.
– They have scored two and conceded seven on the road this season.
– The last time this match was played was during 2007/08. The game finished 1-1.
Saturday: Monaco (13th) vs Evian (15th) (19:00 GMT)
Monaco will be looking to put an end to their inconsistency as Evian visit the Stade Louis II this weekend. The hosts have won three, drawn two and lost four so far this season, a set of results which has left them 13th in the table and with half the amount of points of league leaders Marseille. Despite this, they did manage to claim a rare point from PSG at the Parc des Princes last time out and manager Leonardo Jardim will be hoping that result can spur his side onto better things in the coming weeks.
Evian, meanwhile, have been in resurgent form as of late; winning their last three league games after not emerging victorious in any of their first six. They have defeated Lens, Lorient and Metz to rise from 20th to 15th in the league table, but Monaco, even with their current inconsistent form, will provide a sterner test for Pascal Dupraz’s men.
– Monaco have taken just four points from 12 in their home league games so far this campaign.
– They are yet to reach the top half this season.
– Before their current three game winning streak, Evian had lost five out of their opening six league games.
– Their only away win so far came away at Lorient in Week 8.
– Last season, this match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Saturday: Lille (4th) vs Guingamp (20th) (19:00 GMT)
Lille will be looking to bounce back from their 3-0 loss to Lyon when they take on bottom-of-the-table Guingamp at the Stade Pierre Mauroy on Saturday. Rene Girard will be looking for a response from his side after such a heavy defeat last time out and struggling Guingamp could be the perfect opponents.
The visitors are one point adrift at the bottom of the league and have lost seven out of their nine league matches so far this season. They have lost their last three away games, scoring once and conceding seven in the process. Considering that Lille are unbeaten at home in the league so far this campaign, it would be a major surprise if Guingamp were to leave the Stade Pierre Mauroy with anything but a loss.
– Lille have won three and drawn two at home in the league so far.
– Their two defeats both came on the road, away at Nice and Lyon.
– Guingamp’s only away win came in Week 2, when they won 1-0 at Lens.
– They have been in the relegation zone for six of the nine weeks of the season so far.
– Last season, Lille won this match 1-0.
Saturday: Nantes (5th) vs Reims (16th) (19:00 GMT)
Nantes will be looking to continue their impressive from so far this campaign as they prepare to face Reims at the Stade de la Beaujoire. The hosts have lost just two of their opening nine games, form which has seen them rise to fifth in the table, level on points with the likes of Lille and champions PSG. Manager Michel Der Zakarian will be expecting another win this weekend, especially against a side who have struggled on the whole this campaign.
Reims may have won their last game, 1-0 at home to Bordeaux, but five losses out of nine means that Jean-Luc Vasseur’s side sit 16th in the table, two points above the relegation zone. It doesn’t really mean that much at the moment, especially when you consider how congested the league table is right now, but Vasseur will be anxious not to get cast adrift near the bottom in the coming weeks and months.
– Nantes have yet to drop out of the top half of the table this season.
– They have taken 10 points from 15 at home in the league so far, with only Monaco emerging victorious.
– Reims have spent five weeks out of nine in the bottom three.
– They have scored four and conceded 10 on the road this campaign.
– Last season, this match finished as a goalless draw.
Sunday: Marseille (1st) vs Toulouse (8th) (13:00 GMT)
League leaders Marseille will be looking to increase their winning streak even further as they take on Toulouse in the first of three matches on Sunday. The hosts have won their last seven league games, a run which has seen them move five points ahead of second placed Bordeaux in the table. Marcelo Bielsa will want more of the same this weekend.
Toulouse, meanwhile, have turned their away form on its head recently; they lost their first three on the road, but have since won their previous two, at Rennes and St Etienne respectively. However, taking anything from Marseille is a difficult task at the moment and one that Alain Casanova won’t be particularly looking forward to heading into the weekend.
– Marseille have scored 23 goals in their nine league matches – eight more than any other team in the league.
– They have opened the scoring on seven occasions this season, winning all of them.
– Toulouse are unbeaten in their last four league matches – two wins and two draws.
– Only Marseille’s Andre-Pierre Gignac (9) and Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette (7) have scored more goals in the league this season than Toulouse’s Wissam Ben Yedder, who has six.
– Last season, this match finished 2-2.
Sunday: Bordeaux (2nd) vs Caen (17th) (16:00 GMT)
Bordeaux will be looking to keep within reach of Marseille by claiming all three points when they host Caen at the Stade Chaban-Delmas. The home side sit second in the table heading into the weekend, five points behind the league leaders. However, they did lose their last league game, going down 1-0 away at Reims before the international break. Willy Sagnol will be looking for his team to bounce back at the first possible opportunity.
Caen, meanwhile, have struggled since their promotion to the top-flight, winning just twice in their opening nine league games. They head into this match outside the relegation zone only on goal difference and having scored just once in their last three matches.
– Bordeaux have taken 10 points from 12 at home this season.
– Only Bastia have managed to avoid defeat at the Stade Chaban-Delmas so far; they held Bordeaux to a 1-1 draw.
– Despite winning just two games, Caen haven’t yet dropped into the bottom three at any point this season.
– Their two wins both came away from home; away at Evian and Reims.
– The last time this fixture was played was during 2011/12, when Bordeaux won 2-0.
Sunday: Lyon (6th) vs Montpellier (7th) (20:00 GMT)
Lyon will be looking to continue their good form of late as they welcome Montpellier to the Stade de Gerland on Sunday evening. The hosts are unbeaten in their last five league games, winning three of them, a run of form which has seen them move from 17th to sixth in the table. Hubert Fournier will be hoping for another win here this weekend, especially with a tough looking fixture against league leaders Marseille coming up next week.
Montpellier, meanwhile, are level on points with their opponents heading into this match and are unbeaten in their last two league games. They were held to a 1-1 draw at Nice in their last outing, but a draw away at Lyon would be considered a respectable scoreline for the visitors this weekend.
– Lyon have taken 12 points from a possible 15 at home in the league this season.
– Their only league defeat on home turf came in Week 3 against Lens.
– Montpellier have taken five points from 12 away from home in the league this season.
– They have won at Marseille, lost at Nantes and drawn with Lille and Nice.
– Last season, this match ended as a goalless draw.